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Aoife

Witty Little Knitter

I read fantasy, crime, true crime, lgbt-romance and books written by my favourite comedians. List not necessarily complete.
Sometimes I write for Bibliodaze

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Stephen and Matilda
Jim Bradbury
Progress: 52/262 pages
Krieg und Frieden
Michael Grusemann, Leo Tolstoy
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Review: Setting the Truth Free

Setting the Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign - Julieann Campbell

I did have tears in my eyes when reading the last chapter. Having to wait 30 years for the government to admit that soldiers murdered unarmed civilians and did not shoot at terrorists who attacked them first is something that is probably impossible to imagine if you did not go through it yourself but there is no question that it must be horrible. So reading the scene in which the relatives and the people of Derry got the definite confirmation that the people shot on Bloody Sunday were innocent and the people's reaction to that made me teary-eyed.

Having said all that: did anybody read the manuscript before it got published? Because it doesn't really look like it. Typos and such are only a minor issue (I spotted one and three or four really awkwardly phrased sentences) but still somewhat borderline for a published book. However what really bothered me was that it basically felt like the author just wrote down stuff without spending much time on thinking about the way she should order her facts.

Yes there is a vague red line: it goes chronologically from the 'birth' of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign to the publication of the Saville Report but the way how everything else is integrated makes little sense. Almost every chapter starts with some information one of the Bloody Sunday-victims (family, why they were at the march etc.), then it goes on talking about the person's family members and if/how they were involved in the campaign, then it goes on talking about the campaign in general, mentioning completely different people who were involved in it. The next chapter would be the same: information on another victim and his family and then more talking about the campaign picking up from the point on which it stopped in the last chapter...

I also didn't think the chapter-structure made too much sense even if you looked just at the parts about the campaign itself. Most of the time I didn't really see why they were divided in the way they were. The author could as well have added parts from one chapter to the next or the previous and it wouldn't have made much difference. 

Additionally I noticed two instances where people were mentioned but no further explanation was given the first time. We had to wait for the second mention till we learned who they were exactly. (That might have happened more than those two times, I'm bad with names and there were a lot of people mentioned in this book...on the other hand I'm almost sure that one person's story was told twice)

 

So sadly I don't think I can really recommend this book especially if you know nothing about Bloody Sunday. I had some vague previous knowledge and found it still really hard to follow it thanks to the odd way this book was structured.