I’m in Thailand at the moment, so apologies if I don’t respond to everything for a while- I’ll probably have limited access to wifi!
I’ve scheduled some posts to go out while I’m away though -I’ll be doing a post with photos and what I read when I get back!
London, November, 1860: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Russians, and arrested. His wife, Lily, suspects that his inprisonment is part of a cover up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall. She’s knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.
Exposure by Helen Dunmore is a vivid, aborning story. It’s about spies and secrecy, but it’s not a thriller. It’s more of a slow but beautifully written tale about a family and their struggles, together and apart, as they come to terms with what Simon has been accused of.
Helen Dunmore writes beautifully, as ever. Even when there isn’t a huge deal going on, I was completely absorbed into the story and didn’t really want it to end. You get a real sense of the family’s upheaval and despair, and the unfairness of Simon’s past coming back to haunt him in a certain sense. The characters, though not all likeable, are interesting to read about and seem realistic and convincing. I really liked Lily as a character- she was strong, supportive and got on with it even when times were hard.
The fact that the novel centres around the Cold War and British intelligence, adds therefore has a real sense of mystery to it, but as I mentioned before, this novel isn’t really about just that. It’s about the way Simon and his family react to his arrest, and similarly the way Giles doesn’t. It’s interesting that what Giles was actually doing is surrounded in so much secrecy, only adding to the tension.
This may not be a novel for readers who only enjoy fast paced, thrilling tales- I am someone who loves these, but I still hugely enjoyed Exposure, as more of a slow burner of a tale. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.