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The Last Kestrel

by Jill McGivering

I found this a compelling book. Although easy to read, it is at times uncomfortable. Afghanistan comes alive through detailed insights into the day-to-day lives of soldiers and villagers with the personal stories told delivering an impact that no amount of censored reporting could ever achieve.

Extract

The boy was still tugging. She lifted her head. Through the legs and the shifting smoke, she made out figures slumped along the road. A policeman, his torso drenched in blood. On his side. A woman, her hair blackened with soot. Sitting. Bent over the shape of a child stretched across her lap. A man, staggering, his hands grasping the air. A boy, staring about him in confusion. A police radio, abandoned on the ground, suddenly sparked into life, pumping out voices from far away. She covered her eyes with her hands. Too much. How could this happen?

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