Review: Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil YapaThe Blurb

A heart-stopping debut about protest and riot…

1999. Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the largest protests in the history of Western democracy.

But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters – from all sections of society – will test the patience of the city’s police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting – a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charges novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.

The Review

There are certain types of novels that just do it for me; I love multi-perspective narratives whereby every character is linked in some way. Fortunately for me Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa was exactly that type.

The story of Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist centres on the riots that took place in Seattle in 1999 during a World Trade Organisation summit. It highlights the positives and negatives from both sides of the argument. Our main characters all have agendas and at various points of the narrative you both agree and disagree with them vehemently.

Take, for example, Park: the rogue policeman. Throughout the novel you are presented with a man of the law – who, as a society, we assume will be a good fair person. Yet his brutality and bullying nature makes him unlikable, terrifying even. However, we learn that he is a hero. One who has sacrificed his own life to save children in another riot.

This is a brilliant skill and I love books that usurp your original opinions about a character or a theme. Jodi Picoult is that master of this and I think, based on the fact that Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is Sunil Yapa’s debut novel, that Picoult may have someone snapping at her heels.

This is a brilliant book and is set to make waves this year.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of aFist by Sunil Yapa is available from February 4th 2016.

Follow Sunil Yapa (@sunilyapa) on Twitter.

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