Monday, June 11, 2012

Book 63 - The Dark Beneath by Alan Gibbons - Oxfordshire, England

16 year old Imogen has finished her exams and now to prove to her parents that she can be independent she has just started a new job waitressing at the local, village cafe. The regular customers - three men she nicknames 'The Boys' who work at the local nuclear power station are full of opinions and react badly when she disagrees. Imogen's family are seasoned protesters from way back - even protesting against the nuclear power station. The latest controversy in their community is the possibility of a remand centre ofr asylum seekers being built there. The locals hate the idea, keep foreigners away. Imogen and her parents also hate the idea - don't lock up asylum seekers at all is their view.

Also in this village is Anthony - the troubled albino son of the cafe owners.  He has an instant crush on Imogen and begins to stalk her secretly taking photos of her. Imogen meets Farid - an asylum seeker from Afghanistan and finds herself strangely attracted to this strong, silent man. 

All of these factors make for a tense story full of people's prejudice, fears and misunderstandings. Imogen learns who she can trust and who is surprisingly untrustworthy.