Meet The Impress Prize Winner 2016 - Magdelana McGuire



Home Is Nearby - Magdalena McGuire
Published by Impress Books on 1st November 2017.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Book depository purchase link.

The Impress Prize is known for bringing out the best of debut adult fiction and the 2015 winner, The Joyce Girl, remains to be one of my favourite works of historical fiction. So, to receive a proof copy of the 2016 winner, Home Is Nearby, was exciting. I knew the team of judges would have picked something special. I saved it for my holiday to York recently because what's more fitting than a historical book for a historic city?

Ania comes from a rural village in Poland where she lived with her father. When she meets Dominik at university, her whole perspective on life shifts. She begins discovering her artistic talents and her creativity emerges. Unfortunately, so does the Polish Crisis of the 1980s. As censorship becomes the new norm, Ania must find a way to balance her career, loyalty and friendships in a country that is spiralling out of recognition.

The Polish Crisis is a part of history that I've never learnt much about. Really, it's embarrassing. Ania's story brought that whole world to life for me in a literary style. Magdalena's writing is every bit as brilliant as I thought it would be, capturing Ania's anguish and her determination in one powerful tone. I appreciate good literary fiction and I'm picky when it comes to writing that is overdone and stupidly complex so I'm glad to say that McGuire got the balance just right.

As Ania found herself, and lost herself, I found myself wincing at her awful situations. She's quite a moral character so when crap happened, I sympathised with her completely. She's a good person trying to make the best of a difficult situation. Her relationship with Dominik is painfully real and I was completely rooting for them throughout the novel. 

In spite of all the dark times that Ania goes through, this book brought a bit of light to my holiday to York. I urge you to pick it up if you're after high quality story-telling this autumn.

Love, Jess

Thank you Impress Books for my copy.

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