Jen is climbing in the mountains near Alajar, Spain. And it’s nothing to do with the fact that an old acquaintance, Nick Crawford, may have suggested that she meet him there...
But when things don’t go as planned with Nick and her brother calls to voice concerns over the whereabouts of Morwenna – their estranged, free-spirited mother – Jen winds up travelling to a refugee camp on the south coast of Malta.
Morwenna is working with a small non-governmental organization to help her Libyan friend, Nahla, seek asylum for herself and her two young children. Jen is instantly out of her depth, surrounded by stories of unimaginable suffering and increasing tensions within the camp. Then Nahla recognises someone else from Libya – and ends up dead later that same day.
Jen and Morwenna find themselves responsible for the safety of Nahla’s daughters. But what if the safest thing to do is to get in a boat?
Judefire33 Star rating 4.5 Stars
Firstly Thank you so much to Verve books for inviting me to the Blog Tour and sending me a copy of Cut Adrift.
Cut Adrift carries on where On The Edge finished, in that Jen Shaw is now in Spain, resting and recuperating after the adventures and danger she met in the first novel, in Cornwall.
Cut Adrift starts slowly with Jen deciding to have some fun climbing and travelling in her hired camper van, however, her last lover has sent her a mysterious postcard and asked her to meet her in a bar in Alajar by simply saying “wish you were here”, after some internal struggles Jen decides to go and see if Nick Grimshaw will be waiting for her. What follows is a time of fun, and romance for them both, before this is shattered by Nick having to leave immediately for work and also the news that Jen’s Mum, Morwenna needs to be contacted as her husband (Jen’s Dad) is going to sell the family home, Tregonna in Cornwall and the only one to stop it is Morwenna. The last she was heard of she was in Malta, so Jen makes for malta hoping to find her Mum and talk her into going to a solicitor and stopping the sale of their beloved home.
From then on Cut Adrift picks up the pace as we enter a world (that is extremely well-written and researched) of refugees. Jen and her Mum get caught up in a terrible round of events, including the murder of Nahla, Morwenna’s refugee friend. They are then thrown into a dangerous world and have to fight and run with Nahla’s two children, from people traffickers, killers and terrorists all of who want nothing more than to use the children in the most abhorrent way possible, from this pit on Cut Adrift is an anxiety-ridden ride and one that kept me up at night.
The plot and storyline are very well written, and I was totally hooked into the world unknown to me but that read so realistic of refugees and the dangers they face even when we think they are in Europe and safe. A terrible journey that they face from leaving their home countries, to getting to a safe country where they will be looked after and not become a target for criminals of all sorts.
The concluding chapters were super fast-paced and I was totally immersed, Jane Jesmond has done well to write with such clarity of the fear and anxiety that these poor people face, and entwining this into the lives of Jen Shaw and her Mum Morwenna, is brilliant. Their fight to save and bring two traumatized little girls back to Cornwall is truly heroic and full of danger at every turn, they don’t know who to trust!
The ending was brilliant, but you know, Ik not giving anything away! The writing is beautiful at times with the descriptions of the places we travel to in Cut Adrift. And there are some scary and visceral scenes on the high seas in a yacht, that for me triggered my PTSD (I had to leave a cruise as I was so frightened after being in Force 9 seas), but although this was difficult for me, it’s down to the excellent writing of Jane Jesmond that made me relive it!
An enthralling, tense, adventure and thrilling read hence my score of 4.5 stars.
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