#Blogtour The Exile And The Mapmaker by Emma Musty @EmmaMusty @Legend_Times

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Legend Time’s June 16th 2021

The Blurb

Theo, an aging Parisian cartographer, is desperately searching for the woman he once loved before Alzheimer’s takes his memories of her.
Elise, his estranged daughter, moves in to take care of him. She still blames him for the tragic loss of her mother and is struggling with this new forced intimacy.
Nebay, an Eritrean refugee, becomes Theo’s carer and friend. Unbeknownst to Elise, Nebay does not have a visa for France and is working illegally in order to support his sister.Each one is living a life of questions and secrets in a world where Nebay’s very presence in the France of Theo’s maps is steeped in uncertainty.
An important novel that is as compassionate as it is eye-opening, The Exile and the Mapmaker is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

My Review

Imagine being trapped within your own mind, a mind stuck in the past, of a lost love and huge regrets, of war and rebellion. It is definitely not somewhere where I would chose to be yet Theo had no choice as Musty wrote of his mental anguish, the everyday almost an aside, his memories torturous, the tears like a tap you couldn’t turn off.

What of those on the outside, watching, caring for Theo? Daughter, Elise, tormented by her own fear of being in love, her mothers death a constant reminder of where she didn’t want to be. Her job interviewing U.K. Visa applicants from refugees a daily struggle against her own morals and conscience.

And then we had refugee, Nebay, a proud but guilt ridden Eritrean who survived under the radar, a chance meeting with Theo the catalyst that could change the trajectory of his life.

All brilliant characters but even more sparkling as Musty thrust them together. I loved the relationship between Theo and Nebay. You could see Theo’s anguish over his past love mirror that of Nebay who hid his own, Theo’s need to track her down to seek redemption, forgiveness something maybe Nebay too needed and wanted.

After years of little communication between Father and daughter, we watched as Musty gradually eroded Elise’s grudging need to care, but also her need to let the past go and forgive, move on and make the most of her father whilst she still could.

It made for a mesmerising mix especially as Musty immersed us more and more into the world of refugees, of those with no status, of the family they had left behind, the grim prospect of return that meant punishment or even death. I felt ashamed as humans became mere numbers, statistics that didn’t meet quotas, of the brutality of the police and authorities.

Even more impressive was Musty’s ability to portray Theo’s increasing confusion, the minds descent into a miasma of memories, of impulsive forays through the streets of Paris in search of the elusive lover. My heart broke, the poignancy, the sheer despair of Elise and Nebay was at times hard to read but somehow compulsive, the need and desire for Musty to give Theo the peace he so desired overrode the discomfort.

The Exile and The Mapmaker was poignant, heartbreaking but brilliantly written and Musty will definitely be an author to watch in the future.

I would like to thank Legend Press for a copy of The Exile And The Mapmaker to read and review and for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

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Emma Musty was born in England and grew up in Scotland. She spent her childhood crossing the border between two countries and two cultures.

In 2009 she went to Calais for the first time and met some of the many people living in ‘the jungle’ as they struggled to reach the UK. Following this she began to write about borders and migration, starting work on what later became The Exile and the Mapmaker.

She is an editor and writer with the Are You Syrious? Daily Digest, which chronicles news from the ground regarding the refugee situation in Europe, and a long term member of Khora Community Centre which works with marginalised groups in Athens. She is also a freelance consultant for Refugee Rights Europe. Emma’s second novel will be published by Legend Press in 2022.


Twitter: @EmmaMusty

Instagram: @emmamusty_author

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