Review Blog

Nov 22 2015

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew

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Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN 9781471404702
(Age: 16+) Recommended. 'What would have happened if the Nazis had won Wold War II?' This book, set in 2014, explores this scenario. It tells the story from the point of view of Jessika Keller. She is the daughter of an influential and powerful father and is set to be a world champion ice skater. Jessika is struggling with her sexuality and knows that her choices can have far reaching consequences.
Her neighbour Clementine is not from an influential family. Clementine asks questions - and this makes Jessika nervous and confused. When Clementine is scheduled for surgery to prevent her from contaminating the gene pool the story gains momentum as it drives toward a tragic and disturbing finish.
The author, Julie Mayhew, has included historically accurate information in her story: the Bund Deutscher Madel, and The Poisonous Mushroom. In her notes at the end of the book she draws powerful correlations between her text and current day events in the world.
While at times the writing fell flat, the story will promote much discussion. It leaves the reader with the question: Is it ever okay to close your eyes to avoid seeing injustice?
Linda Guthrie

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