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A lovely, heartfelt, oh so readable and occasionally quirky story containing huge empathy and thoughtfulness. Two teenagers, refugees without their parents, set off from Syria in the hopes of reaching the UK. I am a huge fan of Gavin Extence, as he has the ability to write with an incredibly light touch while exploring hugely provocative topics. His books often contain a waft of magic, not hocus pocus exactly, but something that makes you stop and think. The story here is told by 19-year-old Zain, older brother to 14-year-old Mohammed, and we meet them as they begin the swim from Turkey to Greece. Simply told, the words hit my thoughts with hammer-hard intensity, and yet there were smiles on hand too. There is a gentle compassion to be found in Zain, and as I read, I took him, and his football-loving brother to my heart. All I will say about the third absolutely fabulous character in this tale is that I won’t forget him! ‘The End of Time’ doesn’t preach, it lets you discover thoughts and feelings for yourself, it just exists, as it is, as the most wonderfully compelling and beautiful story. I have chosen ‘The End of Time’ as one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month - it has a massive tick in the 'fabulous read' box from me.
Gavin Extence is our author in the picture for July 2019, do take a look at the photos he chose in answer to our questions.
Beneath the stars, on a stony beach, stand two teenage brothers.
They are wearing lifejackets that are too big for them and their most precious belongings are sealed in waterproof bags tucked inside the rucksacks on their backs.
Turkey is behind them and Europe lies ahead, a dark, desperate swim away.
They don't know what will come next, but they're about to meet a man who does. He calls himself Jesus, the Messiah. He is barefoot, dishevelled and smells strongly of alcohol.
And he doesn't believe in chance meetings. He believes he has information about the future - information that will change three lives forever . . .
Closing date: 01/04/2021
I loved The End of Time. It's packed full of so much compassion it's left me feeling enlightened and enriched. - Matt Cain
Thoroughly enjoyed #TheEndOfTime. It's an epic story of brotherly love, courage and resilience. A sensitively-written, compassionate and heart-warming must-read for this summer. - Sarah J Harris
I loved #TheEndofTime. It is, without doubt, one of my top reads of 2019. I walked every mile with Zain, Mohammed and Jesus. Even when their epic journey seemed hopeless, their story remained hopeful. I've not had such an immersive and important read in a long time. - Carmel Harrington
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Publisher: Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 25/07/2019
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||9th January 2020|
|Publisher:||Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,|
|Collections:||40+ Quirky Novels - a little different and totally fabulous.,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Migration, immigration & emigration, Refugees & political asylum,|
Gavin Extence was born in 1982 and grew up in the interestingly named village of Swineshead, Lincolnshire. From the ages of 5-11, he enjoyed a brief but illustrious career as a chess player, winning numerous national championships and travelling to Moscow and St Petersburg to pit his wits against the finest young minds in Russia. He won only one game. Author photo © Alix ExtenceMore About Gavin Extence