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book cover of Forest Gate

Forest Gate

A novel by

It's 2006 in Forest Gate, East London. Suicides are on the rise as defeated youths make irreversible decisions. In a community where poverty is kept close and passed from one generation to the next, two teenage boys, best friends Ashvin and James, stand on top of twin tower blocks. Facing each other across the abyss of London's urban sprawl, they say final goodbyes in the final stages of a suicide pact. The boys jump together, each with a rope around his neck. Only Ashvin dies. James awakes in hospital, struggling with guilt and faced with his dysfunctional family, a well-meaning psychologist and, eventually, Ashvin's grieving sister Armeina."Forest Gate" is narrated by Armeina, a young refugee from Somalia who, with the death of her brother, suffers the loss of her entire family. As she tells the story of her brother's life and seeks to understand why he would kill himself, she finds herself drawn to James. Seeking comfort from each other, and desperate to rebuild their lives, James and Armeina form a special bond and together set out to find a place they can both call home. Set in London, Somalia and Brazil, Peter Akinti's debut is a beautifully wrought, profoundly affecting and sometimes violent novel rich in the true history of our time. As he confronts the daily trauma that confronts teenagers brought together from all over the world to London, Akinti's writing radiates honesty, an uncompromising clarity, and a refreshingly original voice. Armeina and James' journey towards life through their past is, ultimately, a powerful story of redemptive love.

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Paperback Editions

February 2010 : USA Paperback

Title: Forest Gate: A Novel
Author(s): Peter Akinti
ISBN: 1-4391-7217-X / 978-1-4391-7217-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Free Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2009 : UK Paperback

Title: Forest Gate
Author(s): Peter Akinti
ISBN: 0-224-08709-6 / 978-0-224-08709-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

March 2009 : Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Forest Gate
Author(s): Peter Akinti
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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