The Longest Fight by Emily Bullock
Set against the backdrop of gritty post-war London, The Longest Fight tells the story of former boxer Jack Munday. As a teenager, Jack had no option but to learn to fight, to protect himself against his bullying father. He is both haunted and tormented by these memories, and those of first love Rosie whom he carries constantly in his thoughts. The book switches between present-day and flashbacks, informing the reader of his earlier years which were consumed by love for one, and agonizing hate for the other.
Now a great boxing manager, Jack sees new hope in fresh-faced Frank, through whom he can taste victory and re-discovers a burning desire to win. Yet the sweaty, bloody battle in the boxing ring can't block out the past, stirring even more memories.
With her debut novel Emily Bullock shares something special – a clear understanding of her subject matter, and a talent for developing her characters in a way that leaves you craving more. Tragic elements evoke emotion, and through clever technique Bullock is able to translate the character's surprising actions. For Jack it's a lot harder to forgive and forget. Who will overcome the next blow? And who will fall through the ropes? [Tina Koenig]