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The Truth About Julia by Anna Schaffner
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The Truth About Julia

by Anna Schaffner

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I received this book to review from Real Readers. After reading the synopsis this book did nott sound like a kind of book that i would normally read and was a bit apprehensive about delving into it.

In 2014 Julia white – a beautiful and intelligent young lady blows up a coffee shop in central London. Claire Hardenberg an investigative journalist has been commissioned to write a biography of Julia.

At the beginning of the book Claire is in prison herself and the book is told looking back into her investigation into the bombing for the autobiography and explaining what is happening to herself.
It was not made clear as to why Claire was in prison until the end of the book. I did not really enjoy Claires story and why she was in prison although the story of Julia was interesting.

This book took me a long time to read (I can normally finish a book in a day), it was not a page turner and I found myself not really caring what happened to the characters. I felt obliged to finish it because of the review. This was the authors’ first novel and will not be seeking out any other books she may write, ( )
  dally33 | Mar 20, 2016 |
Clare Hardenberg, an investigative journalist, is tasked to write a bok about convicted mass murderer, Julia White, who planted a bomb in a chain coffee shop in busy central London causing the earth of twenty-four people. However, Clare herself is on remand and facing prison for many years as she writes to her editor and friend, George, chronicling her interviews with Julia's family, friends and a brief chilling interview with Julia herself.

Told totally from Clare's perspective, this book poses the mysteries, why did Julia White do what she did and what did Clare Hardenberg do to end up in prison? Are the two incidents related?

In a true psychological thriller sense it's what isn't spelled out by the narrative that adds to the chill factor in this novel. Clare's investigation into Julia doesn't paint a stark clear cut picture and challenges our perceptions of Julia and whether she is inherently evil or a sociopath.

Clare herself has had a tumultuous time in her career prior to the point she takes on the assignment to write about Julia and although she is our narrator, it's obvious that Clare is reeling from traumatic events in her own life that colour her opinions.

This isn't the type of psychological thriller that overlaps crime thrillers to keep you entertained, it's the sort of literary fiction that comments on society and culture challenging your understanding of the world and the way it works. I found this book incredibly difficult to put down even though more questions arose as we found out more about Julia and Clare, leaving me chilled to the bone of my impressions of both women at the end of this thought-provoking read. ( )
  Ajoobacats | Mar 15, 2016 |
I received The Truth About Julia from Real Readers to read and review. I approached this book with trepidation as it did not appear to be my cup of tea at first glance. It is about a young woman called Julia who plants a bomb in a cafe in London, killing 24 people, and an investigative journalist called Clare Hardenberg who is writing Julia's biography whilst awaiting trial in prison. I need not have worried as it soon became something of a page turner for me!

I was intrigued to find out why Julia had carried out such an atrocity and also why Clare had ended up behind bars. I thought the story was told in an interesting way and enjoyed how the background of each character was related. It did, however, become a little too political at times and I had the feeling the author was trying to get some sort of point across. It's definitely a thought provoking tale.

I found The Truth About Julia a fast paced, absorbing and well written novel. It kept me wanting to know more and there is also a slight twist at the end. A compelling and somewhat disturbing debut which should give reading groups plenty to talk about! ( )
1 vote VanessaCW | Mar 14, 2016 |
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In June 2014, Julia White - a beautiful and intelligent young woman - blows up a coffee shop in central London, killing twenty-four people before turning herself in to the police. Apart from publishing a potentially ironic manifesto, she refuses to explain the reasons for her actions ? Clare Hardenberg, an investigative journalist, has been commissioned to write a biography of Julia but at the start of the novel she is on her way to prison herself. What has brought her to this point?… (more)

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