Review of This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

I read The Fool’s Girl last year and completely fell in love with Rees’ writing, so I was very excited to read her latest novel. This is Not Forgiveness is hugely different to Rees’ previous works, which have mainly been historical fiction.

This novel follows the lives of three central characters; Caro, Rob and Jamie. The narrative is told from the points of view of these characters with chapters alternating for each of them.

Jamie and Rob are brothers, but not at all similar. Jamie is innocent and forgiving whilst Rob, who has just returned from Army service, is hard and determined. The only thing they really have in common is Caro. Caro has a reputation, although she doesn’t really care and even seems to court unpopularity. The three become intertwined in events with devastating consequences over one hot summer period.

I really liked the way that the novel alternates between the three characters, as it gives each of them a strong voice and makes the reader feel that they know more about each one. This story really makes you think and also brings up a lot of questions. Rees’ writing is so fast paced and gripping that I did not want to put it down.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending us a copy to review.