The Squeeze by Lesley Glaister – A Review

This book has sent me into a Glaister buying spin and has opened my eyes to possibly a new favourite author.

I saw this one on booktube and (rather superficially) loved the cover *but* in my defence also loved the premise (I’m not that shallow…….I totally am).

The Squeeze tells the story of Marta a young Romanian girl who after the death of her father is finding it difficult to support her family on her factory job wages, processing harmful chemicals.  She dreams of a new life, one where she can earn enough money to also give her young sister a head start in life too.  She is vulnerable and naive and it is this vulnerability that leads to her being charmed by a mysterious man and ending up being sex trafficked into the UK.

We also meet Mats a Norwegian businessman who relocates to Edinburgh from Norway with his wife Nina.  A solid, dependable, some might say dull man who just wants to have a family and a peaceful life.  However, he finds himself coming into contact with Marta and becoming intrinsically linked to her in a much deeper way than her ever anticipated, meaning he has some hard decisions and sacrifices to make.

The story is told from the perspectives of Marta, Mats and Mats’ second wife Vivienne. We also have some short vignettes at the start from the perspective of Alis, another girl who has been trafficked and becomes friends with Marta.  Her chapters tellingly dwindle out fairly early on.

This book is fast paced and (I loathe to say it) a page turner.  The plot most definitely draws you in but Glaister (I have discovered since reading more of her work) is brilliant at combining fast paced plot with real character development.  I could feel empathy with all of the characters and really got drawn into their lives.  Glaister also does that great thing where the ordinary and the mundane gel perfectly with extraordinary circumstances.

This book covers such subjects as sex trafficking post Berlin Wall, marriage, relationships, family ties and criminal underworlds. It was an really intriguing, engaging read and has prompted me to buy pretty much all of Lesley Glaister’s back catalogue. No lie.

I guess you could say that’s a good recommendation!

See you again soon with another review.

Bookish Chat. Xxx

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