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October 8, 2014

DRUMBEATS by Julia Ibbotson

Julia Ibbotson
Product Details
 Drumbeats is the first novel in a trilogy and follows 18 year old English student Jess through her gap year in West Africa. It's a rite of passage novel set in the mid-1960s when Jess flees her stifling home background for freedom to become a volunteer teacher and nurse in the Ghanaian bush. Apprehensively, she leaves her first real romantic love behind in the UK, but will she be able to sustain the bond while she is away? With the idealism of youth, she hopes to find out who she really is, and do some good in the world, but little does she realise what, in reality, she will find that year: joys, horrors, tragedy. She must find her way on her own and learn what fate has in store for her, as she becomes embroiled in the poverty and turmoil of a small war-torn African nation under a controversial dictatorship. Jess must face the dangers of both civil war and unexpected romance. Can she escape her past or will it always haunt her?

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: New Generation Publishing (June 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910394246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910394243
 Julia loves nothing better than curling up with a good book - and of course writing at her antique desk overlooking her garden. Find her at

An author and academic, Julia also loves traveling, cooking for family and friends, country walks, swimming, sailing, choral singing and yoga.

Her debut novel, Drumbeats, is the first of a trilogy, and is the story of love and tragedy set in 1960s West Africa against the backdrop of civil war.

She is expecting her first children's book out this autumn. Called S.C.A.R.S, it is a fantasy time-shift story.

She is also author of the acclaimed award-winning memoir The Old Rectory: escape to a country kitchen, about the renovation of an English Victorian rectory, finding what's important in life, and with recipes to feed the soul at the end of each chapter.

She is the author of many academic papers and books, the last being Talking the Walk about gendered socio-linguistics. She also researches and writes about international doctoral study in education

 Our main character, Jess is from a Quaker family, which is quite conservative.  She wants to do more, to become more, so she decides to leave before the start of university.  She goes to Ghana.During that year she learned a lot about herself and the person she is and wants to be.  The reader couldn't help but love Jess.  She is a kind and gentle person and is like a lot of people who want to change things about the world. The author wrote the book in a very realistic way.  She shows the reader that the best laid plans and intentions of one person can't change the world by themselves.  It takes so much more. Jess went to Ghana to teach and help the poor learn ways to make their lives better.  She is a character who learned to live the best she could with what she had.  You can't help but care and feel for Jess.  Enters a mysterious and possibly dangerous man, Jim, an American who was with the peace corps.The author also put in hints of political events.The author wrote with great detail so that the reader felt like they were right there with Jess in Ghana and learning about the poor. the author wrote a wonderful coming of age story. Jess had stepped into a strange adult world in a different country.  Everything was so different than the way she was used to living. She is sometimes alone and curious, confused and scared.  She was a young person filled with mature ideas. She was a brave individual. The author wrote a seamless fascinating story.  Everyone should read this book.

I was given a complimentary copy of DRUMBEATS from the author Julia Ibbotson for my view of the book.  No other compensation took place.

I would give this book 4 STARS,


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