Megan Evens appears to have it all: brains, beauty, a successful career as a foreign correspondent. But deep down she is lonely and rootless. Pregnant, craving love but unable to trust after the destructive affair with her baby’s father she returns to the security of her birthplace in Wales.
When Megan’s son is later diagnosed with a terminal condition, a degenerative, hereditary disease, everything she believed to be true about her origins is thrown into question. To save her son Megan must unearth the truth; she must excavate family history and memory. Enlisting the help of former colleague Jack North, a man with a secret of his own, Megan embarks on a journey of self discovery and into the heart of what it means to be a parent.
I loved the sound of this book as soon as I read the blurb, as readers of this blog will know I’m a real Walesophile (I know I discovered the actual word for this but don’t remember it any more) so just the mention of it made me think this was a book I wanted to read. I was a little surprised when I started to read it to discover that the book takes place in a near future version of our world, the book opens in the year 2048 and to begin with the reader just has to accept that the world has changed. I found that the plot was straight away interesting enough that I could cope with the slight confusion I had about the world, and I got stuck into reading it.
The plot is structured in three sections, the first focuses on Megan’s story, the second flashes back to Elizabeth’s story in 2015-2020 and then the third moves back to Megan’s story. To me there were two key plots, there was Megan’s story where she is trying to find a way to save her son, and there was Elizabeth’s story of what happened to change the world. I found both plots interesting, but whilst Elizabeth’s story was there to fill in the gaps of Megan’s I think I found it the more interesting of the two.
The decision to set the novel in the near future worked for the subject matter at hand, however this meant there was the need for sections of exposition and at times these felt a little heavy. I often find this sort of exposition hard going though so I think this was probably a personal taste thing. I very much liked the way that I could see the world we live in becoming the world in which this book is set, it made for a thought provoking read.
I actually found Megan quite hard to like, I couldn’t identify with her at all. I liked Elizabeth much more, and I think my favourite character was actually Jack who we didn’t get to know all that well.
I liked this book, but I really wanted to love it. It was definitely nice to read a novel that had a good portion based in Wales, and I liked the fact that the book left me thinking about some of the topics it had raised after I’d finished the last page. This is Laura Wilkinson’s debut novel, I’m curious to see what she will write next.
Blood Mining is published in paperback and eBook by Bridge House Books in the UK. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.