Book Set In England

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Books set in England  Hearts and Minds by
Amanda Craig
By Packabook Travel Novels
Amanda Craig’s Hearts and Minds is not an easy
The novel begins with the dumping of a body near the
ponds at London's Hampstead Heath.
What fol ows is the story of a group of people who live
in the city – a Zimbabwean taxi driver, an American
journalist, a South African teacher, a British human rights lawyer, a Russian
au pair and a young Ukrainian girl who is trafficked to the UK.
Eventual y we learn their connections to the body at the Heath - but along
the way we find out how difficult it is for many of them to survive in a city
which is not designed to take care of those who fal under the radar.
For those of us who live in London, this novel chal enges the way many of
us think about our middle-class British lives, revealing the underworld on
which the whole city depends -- such as its Polish cleaners, East European
nannies and African and Middle Eastern taxi-drivers. And with that comes
exploitation, personified here at its very worst with Anna, the 15-year old
Ukrainian who travels to England in search of a better life, only to end up in
a much worse one.
Some people say this novel is too preachy – but if it makes any of us take a
little closer look at London, and the people that gravitate towards it, then it
has done its job. Yes, London is a city of high-fliers — city-bankers, pop
stars and foreign bil ionaires fil the newspapers with their exploits and
adventures — but this is also a city in which those on the minimum wage
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cannot afford to take the train, and are instead forced to rely on two-hour
bus journeys to get to work each day.
Hearts and Minds was an eye-opener for me. We al like to believe that
others have lives which are as good as our own, especial y when we live in
one of the richest cities in the world. And while you hear about such things
as the human ‘slave trade’ in London, we are rarely actual y confronted with
it. This novel makes it al too real.
If you are looking for a typical y English novel in the vein of Jane Austen or
the Bronte sisters, this is not the book for you. Al too often England is
portrayed as a land of tea and scones, when real y there is far more going
on under the surface.
If you want to know a little more about the real underbel y of London - then I
highly recommend Hearts and Minds.
This is just one of the many books set in England we
feature at Packabook, where we find the best books set in
fascinating countries for you to read.
We believe that reading novels set in foreign lands helps
us to understand the world in which we live.
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