Wednesday, 22 August 2018

#BlogTour The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher


Today It's my turn on the BlogTour for The Glass Diplomat by S.R. Wilsher. It's a story of political machinations, revenge, history and also one about love. You can also enter a Giveaway by commenting on this post to win 1 x Paperback copy of The Glass Diplomat  - (the Giveaway is open Internationally).


About the Author
'It didn’t occur to me to write until I was twenty-two, prompted by reading a disappointing book by an author I’d previously liked. I wrote thirty pages of a story I abandoned because it didn’t work on any level. I moved on to a thriller about lost treasure in Central America; which I finished, but never showed to anyone. Two more went the way of the first, and I forgave the author.

After that I became more interested in people-centric stories. I also decided I needed to get some help with my writing, and studied for a degree with the OU. I chose Psychology partly because it was an easier sell to my family than Creative Writing. But mainly because it suited the changing tastes of my writing. When I look back, so many of my choices have been about my writing.

I’ve been writing all my adult life, but nine years ago I had a kidney transplant which interrupted my career, to everyone’s relief. It did mean my output increased, and I developed a work plan that sees me with two projects on the go at any one time. Although that has taken a hit in recent months as I’m currently renovating a house and getting to know my very new granddaughter.

I write for no other reason than I enjoy it deeply. I like the challenge of making a story work. I get a thrill from tinkering with the structure, of creating characters that I care about, and of manipulating a plot that unravels unpredictably, yet logically. I like to write myself into a corner and then see how I can escape. To me, writing is a puzzle I like to spend my time trying to solve.' - S.R. Wilsher

Follow @SrWilsher


About the book
In 1973 Chile, as General Augusto Pinochet seizes power, thirteen-year-old English schoolboy Charlie Norton watches his father walk into the night and never return. Taken in by diplomat, Tomas Abrego, his life becomes intricately linked to the family.

Despite his love for the Abrego sisters, he’s unable to prevent Maria falling under the spell of a left-wing revolutionary, or Sophia from marrying the right-wing Minister of Justice.

His connection to the family is complicated by the growing impression that Tomas Abrego was somehow involved in his father’s disappearance.

As the conflict of a family divided by politics comes to a head on the night of the 1989 student riots, Charlie has to act to save the sisters from an enemy they cannot see.

Review
There is this side to Charlie, which I think is inherent in the majority of  journalists who live in or come from countries under a democratic rule, an almost childlike naiveté that their homeland rules and laws build an invisible shield around them and will keep them safe. Nothing could be further from the truth, and also one of the reasons many of them are murdered doing their jobs.

Journalists or just people in general, who live in countries governed by oppressive regimes and police states, know they have targets on their back when they speak out against said regimes. The voice of freedom, of rebellion and of justice comes with a heavy price.

Although Charlie is understandably driven by the unofficial death of his father, and the blatant theft of any property or wealth he had at the time of his disappearance, I think his sense for self-preservation is clouded by this pseudo familial attachment he has to the Abrego family. The truth is that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty everyone will look to save themselves and their loved own ones first.

In one of the chapters Charlie interviews a known rebel against the cause. Encarro's father is also a victim of the Chilean regime, which is probably the reason both men can lay their differences aside for a moment. Charlie asks him why the regime doesn't silence all of their opposition and critical voices, to which Encarro replies that the government needs to give the appearance that they allow some voices to criticise as long as they don't go too far. It gives the rest of the world the impression that they are indeed open to critical views, that the horror stories are merely propaganda, which in turn means the international world is satisfied and looks in the other direction.

The Chilean government has only recognised and admitted to their hand in the deaths and torture of over 40000 deaths, during the regime of the dictator Pinochet, including '88 children younger than 12 years old' from 1973 onwards. The real numbers are a lot higher and that doesn't account for the unaccounted disappeared victims or the the exiled. The military government of Chile committed systematic human rights violations, including, torture, rape and psychological damage, during the 17 year reign of Pinochet.

During his attempt to discover the truth and right some wrongs Charlie inadvertently sets a series of events in motion, which culminate in the most horrifying of consequences, but apparently one the head of the Abrego family is willing to accept.

This is stunning read, and one that may make you feel angry and powerless. As we look on as the same atrocities happen on our doorstep, which the Western world has often done and will probably always do. More concerned with our own profits and machinations to intercede on the behalf of the vulnerable. People are quick to forget mass-murder and genocide committed under our noses as I am writing this or only a few decades ago. Instead we point towards horrors a lot further back, perhaps in an attempt to negate the truth that power reigns supreme and always supersedes the right of the single human being.

It's a story of trauma, justice and also of love. It is also a story of culpability. Are your hands less dirty than the person doing the killing, if you are the one ordering it or more importantly enabling the murder? Or looking the other way whilst someone else is committing the atrocities?

I will leave you with this sentence from the book, which when considering the implications is truly an indication of the horror the people left behind experience on a loop for the rest of their lives.
'Disappeared is a much worse evil than death'

Buy The Glass Diplomat at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy The Glass Diplomat at Amazon Com

Enter the Giveaway by commenting on this post to win 1 x Paperback copy of The Glass Diplomat  - (the Giveaway is open Internationally).


You can also enter the Giveaway on the following blogs on this BlogTour:

lauramorningstar.com (22nd of August 2018) and bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com (23rd of August 2018)

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