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 is almost cinematic in the detail a day of protest is given. When you look at the current climate of civilian action vs police forces, it’s quite an interesting read. It’s the power of people, shutting down a city. It’s not-so-distant history, so it’s a route of comparison, of seeing into the minds of multiple participants (voluntary or otherwise) in something of such a scale, protester or police. It’s a mark of how much has (or hasn’t) changed.
I found myself swaying between getting swept up in the momentum of the story as it builds, and frustrated on the occasions it tried a little too hard. Having said that, the threads wind themselves together, one emotive push at a time. But I think the reality of the plot is the real draw. It’s the world’s current climate that makes this dramatised reflection particularly interesting, a day under the microscope of humanity and revolution.
February 2016 | Little, Brown UK