Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Review: The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt

July 1940. 11 year-old Lydia walks through a village in rural Suffolk on a baking hot day. She is wearing a gas mask. The shops and houses are empty, windows boarded up and sandbags green with mildew, the village seemingly deserted. Leaving it behind, she strikes off down a country lane through the salt marshes to a large Edwardian house - the house she grew up in. Lydia finds it empty too, the windows covered in black-out blinds. Her family are gone.

Late that night he comes, a soldier, gun in hand and heralding a full-blown German invasion. There are, he explains to her, certain rules she must now abide by. He won't hurt Lydia, but she cannot leave the house.

Is he telling the truth? What is he looking for? Why is he so familiar? And how does he already know Lydia's name?

Eerie, thrilling and piercingly sad, The Dynamite Room evokes the great tradition of war classics yet achieves a strikingly original and contemporary resonance. Hypnotically compelling, it explores, in the most extreme of circumstances, the bonds we share that make us human.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.**

This book held a lot of potential. The synopsis was intriguing and the genre is one of my favourites. I couldn't wait to get lost in it.


Although there wasn't anything horribly wrong with it, the story fell a little flat. It was really slow to get going and I found my mind wandering often. I wanted to know how everything would tie together but not in an anticipation type of way. It was more like an "I'm bored" kind of way.

However, I do see quite a bit of potential with this author. The Dynamite Room was his debut novel and as debuts go it was a solid effort. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it.

About the Author

Jason Hewitt was born in Oxford and lives in London. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English and an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

After completing his degree he spent a number of years working in a bookshop in Oxford before moving into the publishing industry.

His debut novel, The Dynamite Room, published in the UK & Commonwealth in 2014, and in the US/Canada in March 2015. It will also be translated into French in Autumn 2015. His new novel, Devastation Road, will publish in the UK this summer.

He is also a playwright and actor. His first full-length play, Claustrophobia, premiered at Edinburgh Fringe in August 2014 and was also previewed at the St James Theatre, London.

As an actor he has performed major roles in a number of plays including Pericles, A Christmas Carol, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear (directed by Sir Jonathan Miller).

Jason is currently writer-in-residence at Abingdon School, Oxfordshire.

Connect with Jason


No comments:

Post a Comment