Also by this author: Walking in the Rain, Finding Jess
Series: Drumbeats #1
Published by Endeavour Media on June 16, 2014
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Drumbeats is the first novel in a trilogy and follows 18 year old English student Jess through her gap year in West Africa. It's a rite of passage novel set in the mid-1960s when Jess flees her stifling home background for freedom to become a volunteer teacher and nurse in the Ghanaian bush. Apprehensively, she leaves her first real romantic love behind in the UK, but will she be able to sustain the bond while she is away? With the idealism of youth, she hopes to find out who she really is, and do some good in the world, but little does she realise what, in reality, she will find that year: joys, horrors, tragedy. She must find her way on her own and learn what fate has in store for her, as she becomes embroiled in the poverty and turmoil of a small war-torn African nation under a controversial dictatorship. Jess must face the dangers of both civil war and unexpected romance. Can she escape her past or will it always haunt her?
Somehow today I am going to write my review of the fantastic book Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson. Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers today, the lovely Stacy at Stacyisreading and the amazing Kerry who is also struggling like me to review these books at Herding Cats. She has reviewed book two today!
I do not know if there are any words in my dictionary that can describe how amazing and breathtaking this book truly is. I stepped out of my comfort zone reading this book and I have not looked back, words have failed me. I have been discussing this book with Kerry at Herding Cats and she is the same as me, we both loved and adored this book, but when it comes to writing the review we know that we could never do it any justice.
So in 1965 Jessamy, known as Jess wants to leave her Quaker school behind, defer her University application and put her life on hold to venture into the unknown and travel to Ghana where she wants to teach and nurse young girls in a local village.
I know I have said this before with the writing by authors, where you can imagine yourself right in the middle of the chaos, the love, the scenery, but you truly can with Ms Ibbotson writing. I was in that Ghanaian village, falling in love with everything, even the simplistic flat that Jess and her friend Sandra live in. I wanted to try the food, immerse myself in the culture and see the beauty and the real sights. Whilst, there is a lot of calm and happiness surrounding Jess, they are cut off from the outside world, a time before phones, where the only lines of communication back home were via a letter.
Contrasting this lightness, the exotic, is the harsh reality of the uprising against President Nkrumah, based on the facts of the Civil War, with Jess seemingly finding her life in danger, in the middle of the soldiers firing the weapons, will it just be her heart that is hurt?
The sounds of the drumbeats feature so heavily in this book, and I felt like I could hear their melody when reading this book, it was just so magical.
What I failed to remember during the story is that Jess is only 19! Everything that has happened to her and she’s not really an adult yet. She witnessed some horror in the neighbouring villages and just wants to help everyone. This girl has so much strength and light in her, that I am just in awe of her. She takes everything in her stride with such finesse I could only strive to have.
This introduction to the series is already so strong and has left me wanting more. I want to see Jess grow more into the strong formidable woman I know she will become if the end of the first book is to go by and I cannot wait to see where the next adventure will take us. I hope I have done this book a little bit of justice and that you take a chance on Jess as I have.
So, I will be back tomorrow with the next book, hope to see you then!
Until next time xxx
Giveaway Timea Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1),
Thank you so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite and the author for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: