Hearts and Minds, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Rich or poor, five people, seemingly very different, find their lives in the capital connected in undreamed-of ways.

There is Job, the illegal mini-cab driver whose wife in Zimbabwe no longer answers his letters; Ian, the idealistic supply teacher in exile from South Africa; Katie from New York, jilted and miserable as a dogsbody at a political magazine, and fifteen-year-old Anna, trafficked into sexual slavery.

Polly Noble, an overworked human rights lawyer, knows better than most how easy it is to fall through the cracks into the abyss.

Yet when her au pair, Iryna, disappears, Polly's own needs and beliefs drag her family into a world of danger, deceit and terror. Riveting, humane, engaging, HEARTS AND MINDS is a novel that is both entertaining and prepared to ask the most serious questions about the way we live.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Simply marvellous. The novel revolves around five characters and the intricate way in which they all gradually become involved with each other. Exquisitely plotted, the author never once lets the string of coincidences impair the underlying plausibility of the story, and all of the characters are beautifully drawn.Amanda Craid also manages to deliver blistering attacks on the plights of asylum seekers, and the manner in whcih the underclass become almost invisible to the bulk of the population though a communal wave of denial, though she achieves this without ever seeming to proselytise. All in all a quite enchanting novel, and I look forward to reading her previous works.

Review by

I'm undecided by this. At one level, it's a set of intermingled London lives. On another, it's a set of stock characters who never really manage to transcend their roles. There are 5 main narrators, Anna (A Ukrainian girl who is traffic and becomes a prostitute), Job (a black Zimbabwean teacher), Ian (A white South African teacher), Katy (American) and Polly, the sole resident (second generation jewish). They all intermingle more than change might suggest would actually happen. There are a number of events tht seem to be too staged to be real or believable. Despite that, it works as a though provoking piece of work. So I'm torn, a strange mixture of excellent and inventive along side the cardboard cut outs and stage set events.

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