My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Full disclosure part one – I received an advance copy of this from the publisher.
Full disclosure part two – It’s really rather good.
An Act of Love tells the story of two childhood friends forced down separate ideological paths – one into the army and the other into extremism.
It’s a solid book, highly readable with a ton of detail that doesn’t detract from the core content. It’s also one of the few books that deals with the issue of terrorism – an issue which is rarely addressed in children’s literature.
What Gibbons manages to do here is portray the rounded whole and the genuine heartbreak that affects everybody involved in terrorism. The impact of a choice is shown upon the character and their surroundings – their families, friends and loved ones. And these choices, when they’re made, when they bend and break the character in question, they’re not easy choices. They’re heart-wrenching to read and yet bitterly inevitable.
It’s not an easy read but children’s literature doesn’t have to be. What it has to do is have an impact and an affect upon the reader. An Act of Love will create more questions than it solves – a perhaps inevitable result of the topic – but these are questions that need to be asked. And somebody needs to ask them.