I don’t know exactly if I would call this forgotten treasure, because it is really quiet new, has only been out for a couple of weeks, but “The Report” by Jessica Francis Kane is a largely undiscovered (at least by book bloggers) treasure. It does seem to be getting great reviews in traditional media, but I haven’t seen (m)any reviews other than mine on book blogs.
“The Report” is the story of Britain’s worst civilian disaster during World War II, The Bethnal Green incident, and the subsequent government investigation and report. You may think that a government investigation and report sounds like a total snoozefest, and I would understand that, but I promise you, but it is not. Seriously, this is a fantastic and absolutely engaging work of very realistic historical fiction. It is actually fairly amazing how engaged Kane gets her reader, considering she has such a large cast of characters, but she does it.
“The Report” is published by Graywolf Press, a very cool small press. If you’ve thought about spending more time reading books by small presses, this is a good place to start. Or if you just like well-written fiction that is evocative of time and place, this is a must-read.