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THE FORTUNE MEN by Nadifa Mohamed: A gripping and important book

Nadifa Mohamed’s absolutely remarkable 2021 Booker shortlisted The fortune men (would be a deserving winner) follows the story of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali seafarer wrongfully accused of murder of a shopkeeper in 1950s Tiger Bay, Cardiff.

First thing about this magnificent book is that it’s utterly gripping. With the subject matter and the context you would expect something slow burning but it’s a page turner which is quite rare in historical novels.

The novel has an extraordinary sense of place, 1950s Cardiff is brought to life magnificently to life with it’s different populations and descriptions.

Mohamed has managed to treat every character with compassion and a vivid glimpse into their everyday life and their past.

The story is of Mattan is told in a very moving and beautiful way and she brilliantly depicts the injustice being carried out and as readers we are completely immersed and furious about this and there’s nothing you can do till the end and it brilliantly shows an extraordinary example of injustice being carried on an individual and for that reason it makes for a very powerful read.

The fortune men by Nadifa Mohamed Published by Penguin Viking

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