A book that captures my attention is a book that I will most likely read again and again.
Set against the backdrop of East-End London, Anna Whitwham’s debut novel, Boxer Handsome, tells the story of Bobby and Connor. Two boys fighting over a girl. Fiction or non-fiction, it’s always the same with you lads, isn’t it?
When I think boxing, I immediately think Manny Pacquiao. Mainly because I’m half Filipino (if you hadn’t already guessed from previous blog posts. I can wax lyrical about the Philippines for days. Weeks. Months, even), and also because his nickname, Pacman, tickles me pink.
So, to be introduced to a world of boxing I would never normally think about, was refreshing to say the least. The opening scene had me hooked from the get go, but also left a bad taste in my mouth for a certain character. I shan’t say anymore on the matter, because spoilers, but you will probably agree with me when you read the book. I say when, not if, because you must read it.
The myriad of characters Whitwham introduces to us is exciting. As a Londoner myself, I can probably tell you that I’ve seen characters like these around, but it’s nice to delve into them deeper. Layered characters are my favourite. The fight between Bobby and Connor takes you right into the ring with them, but it’s the end fight that really set me on edge. Lets just say that I won’t be going near knives for a while.
Bobby, himself, is somebody I would probably fall for in real life. The way Whitwham describes his looks isn’t what you think a typical boxer looks like, but it takes my fancy, so I guess that’s all that really matters. (Right?) We see Bobby’s internal struggle over his feelings regarding his father to traveller girl, Theresa, and finally to the mysterious girl who has entered his life, Chloe.
Although, some parts were a dredge to get through, overall the book captured me enough that I couldn’t put it down.
It’s not just a love story, nor is it a story just about family. It’s a story about a community, and the odds people are faced with. It’s a story about hardships and trouble. Ultimately, it’s a story that will make you see boxing in a whole new light.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Joe Blogs Bloggers Network <http://www.joeblogsnetwork.com/>. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”