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The Invisible Crowd by Ellen Wiles

The Invisible Crowd

Thriller / Suspense   Debuts of the Month   Literary Fiction   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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November 2017 Debut of the Month

Yonas and his best friend Gebre have escaped from Eritrea, East Africa, and fled to England, a horrific journey. Once in England they are forced to work unpaid, preparing shellfish. They are told the work is to repay the trafficker. They live in appalling conditions in the factory where they work and survive on little food. Eventually Yonas escapes, Gebre does not. Yonas’ hopes of freedom soon evaporate despite being befriended by some remarkable people. He goes to an organisation which helps immigrants where he applies to remain in England. He is not allowed to earn money while waiting for his case. The whole bureaucratic system is quite startling. Enter the defending barrister Jude and her story, not quite as “life changing” as the publishers imply, [Louise you may wish to cut the last phrase]but a fascinating contrast which deeply affects her. It is a gripping story, initially told in statements which must reflect what is happening to thousands in Europe, good, kind people who are escaping horror but the authorities make it very hard for them. Read this, you certainly can’t fail to be moved. Sarah Broadhurst


The Invisible Crowd by Ellen Wiles

Yonas Kelati: born in Eritrea, 2nd March 1975. Barely surviving a bloody civil war, Yonas Kelati has no option but to flee his home. After a terrible journey, he arrives on a bleak English coast on 10th September 2015.

Jude Bracknell: born in England, 2nd March 1975. Human rights lawyer Jude had already packed up to go home when Yonas' asylum application lands on her desk on 20th May 2016.

Opening the file, she finds a patchwork of contradictory witness statements: a lifetime exactly the same length as hers, reduced to a few scraps of paper.In one week's time, Jude will stand up in court and tell Yonas' story - and how she tells it will change his life forever. But can there ever be a single version of the truth?


`A fierce, big-hearted novel that celebrates the power of compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. It takes a special gift to explore an issue so urgent and so complex in such an emotionally satisfying way. Ellen Wiles has this gift.
Joe Treasure, author of The Book of Air

`A sensitive, affecting novel, which looks behind the headlines to explore the experience of an asylum seeker in the UK
Francesca Rhydderch, author of The Rice Paper Diaries

'A deeply felt novel using a technique that literally 'gets behind the headlines'
on asylum

Tim Finch
,author of The House of Jounalists

`The Invisible Crowd is primarily a portrait of Britain and of what British people do when confronted with difference. It is a plea for compassion. It pushes us to find our kinder selves.

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You

`A brilliant novel that gives voice to those often silenced or dispossessed

Paul Burston, author of The Black Path

'I absolutely loved it. It's beautifully written, fascinating, emotional, serious, brilliant'. Gemma Seltzer, author of Speak to Strangers

About the Author

Ellen Wiles was born in 1981 and grew up in Reading. Hoping to change the world , she did a Masters in law and human rights at UCL, and became a barrister at a London chambers, disappearing off periodically to work with Bushmen in Botswana and Burmese refugees in a camp in Thailand. She is the author of Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition (Columbia University Press, 2015) which includes new translations of novel extracts, stories and poems as well as extended interviews and descriptions of the place and the people. This is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd November 2017


Ellen Wiles

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Author 'Like for Like'


HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


432 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
Literary Fiction
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Political / legal thriller
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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