The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

This heart-breaking novel explores love in every form. Dorrigo Evans is an Australian surgeon captured and put to work in a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway. He reflects upon his decision in the camp trying to save the men under his command and those in command of him; and his younger years and the defining love affair with his uncle’s young wife.

It takes a while to appreciate Flanagan’s writing style. The book moves around Evans’ timeline, seamlessly jumping from one heart break to the next, it’s an emotional read worthy of the Man Booker Prize. The author captures the conditions of the POW camp in all their horror and holds this up against love, lust and lose. It questions how much control we have over our tragedies like a Greek tragedy. No words I write will do justice to this book.