The Nature of Stammering 09/08/22
You’re Not Here
Publisher: Daraja Press
17-year-old Jake Marlesden's soldier brother has been killed while out in action in Afghanistan, and Jake is in love with Leila Khan, an Afghan girl. In Jake's English home town, tensions are rising between those who oppose the war in Afghanistan, and those who consider Muslims as traitors.
Jake's journey to try and find out what has actually happened to his brother sees neighbours turning against neighbours and the lovers turning against each other. Can Jake ever get to the bottom of the very strange events happening around him, and bring the divided community together again?
You're Not Here is a page-turner mystery with themes of racial tension, prejudice, conflict and broken family, lightened with dashes of humour. Nothing is as it seems in Jake's world, not even the police or the military, and we're as much in the dark as he is as we follow him on his journey to try and work out what on earth is going on around him.
Jake is on different sides of the conflict at different points in the story, which means the reader comes to understand both. Fans of Muhammed Khan, Angie Thomas and Patrice Lawrence might enjoy this book, which highlights the ultimate futility of racial and religious prejudices.