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The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

With seemingly not enough hours in the day for me to read at the moment, this short but stylish offering by Aliya Whiteley was perfectly sized for me to devour and enjoy, and I’m still thinking about it after finishing it. 

In the aftermath of a terrible war, we are introduced to a defiant young woman named Shirley, who dreams of defying the conventions of her village and of becoming a teacher. She also has ideas about the schoolmaster, a scarred veteran from the war who in pushing Shirley away, only deepens her resolve to ally herself to him. 

When he finally allows her close to him and reveals a prophecy of a terrifying future, she finds herself put in a difficult situation that will have resounding effects for generations to come. 

This novel is a well put together blend of historical fiction, sci-fi and something even a little mythological. Within these genres, there are plenty of themes explored including fate and destiny, and female societal roles which when blended in such a unique way made for a mind stimulating read. 

This is my first read from this author and I found that Aliya Whiteley has a lovely simple yet lyrical way of wording things that sparked my imagination and kept me engaged. 

I really liked Shirley’s character at first. She’s headstrong and passionate and had all the makings of a great heroine. Towards the end, I didn’t agree with some of the decisions she came to but I think that her intentions are generally good and she remained an interesting character throughout. I liked the element of mystery surrounding the schoolmaster Mr Tiller and how things concluded with his character – very intriguing! 

Thought-provoking and skilfully written, I really enjoyed The Arrival of Missives and I’m interested in reading more works from this already acclaimed author. 


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