Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

ISBN: 978-0-385-52907-5

I Saw a Man is about morality, forgiveness and doing the right thing. Owen Sheers does a magnificent job in illustrating what not to do when you're in a tough spot. 

The book takes place in the year 2008, during the height of the conflict in Afghanistan. It tells the story of Michael, a fairly successful immersion journalists who meets and falls in love with Caroline: a journalist as well, but more of a risk-taker, always looking for a story in a war-torn country and always in danger's way. 

The two marry and settle in Wales. Soon after, Caroline tells Michael that an opportunity for an interview with a known terrorist. Thankfully, it would be in Pakistan, not Afghanistan and so there was much less risk (still a lot of risk.)

Caroline was killed by a drone missile strike manned from Nevada. 

Struck by grief, Michael moves to Back to London and meets Josh and Samatha, whom, with their two young daughters, Michael spends all of his time with. 

Michael is on the road to recovery when he starts receiving letters from the pilot that pulled the trigger that killed his wife. They are letters of apology and explanation written illegally against protocol in an attempt to be forgiven by Michael as Daniel's (the pilot) life is falling apart. 

Michael falls back into the emotional rut he was in, unable to forgive. Meanwhile, something terrible happens at Josh and Samantha's house (which I will not divulge.)

Owen Sheers is an award-winning poet and his way with words is showcased in I Saw a Man. The title of the book is made up of the words that are said just before Caroline is killed and ostensibly the cause of numerous people's lives being destroyed. 

It is a fantastic book, a page-turner. I was reminded of Woody Allen's film Match Point during parts (although there are no murders, premeditated or otherwise--no spoiler!)

I'd recommend I Saw a Man to pretty much anyone: the writing is great, the story is great and it's a bit of a social commentary which is, well, great. 

It will be available in early June--something to look forward to. 

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