Today I am handing over to Mandie to share her thoughts on the unforgettable The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean. This was one of my Red Hot Reads for very good reason, and one of my very top reads of last year. It’s the kind of book that provokes a visceral reaction and you can read my thoughts on it right here. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
He is her husband. She is his captive.
Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.
She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.
Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.
For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .
I had heard good things about this book, so I thought it was about time I dusted it off my TBR pile and now I understand what everyone was on about, but it certainly left my head a bit fried by the end of it.
“Jane” has travelled from Vietnam with the promise of a better life. What she finds is far from that. Living on a remote farm she has become the property of Lenn who controls everything she does, and should she step out of line then she will suffer consequences.
The Last Thing to Burn is a book that once read is likely to stay with you highlighting the very real issue of human trafficking and the only too distressing realities for those who believe they are going to something better. You can’t help but wonder what they are trying to escape if they are willing to put their trust in total strangers to provide the one thing they are searching for.
Despite the circumstances “Jane” still has hope and that is what keeps her going and fuels her little acts of defiance, acts that are quite often just in her head but give you a sense of the person she really is and give the reader the hope that eventually she will get that better life that she was promised.
Whilst the abuse that she suffers is often as much mental as it is physical the way in which the book is written fuels the readers imagination as to what she must truly be going through, and this is far more powerful than having every last thing written on the page. This may be the first of Will Dean’s books that I have read but if he can make such an impact in 250 pages I can’t wait to read some of the other books I have of his in my TBR pile.
About the Author
Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.