A Marker to Measure Drift by Alexander Maksik - review by Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes

Her Island Story

A Marker to Measure Drift


John Murray 222pp £17.99

Jacqueline, a young Liberian woman, has found sanctuary on a Greek island. By day she walks the tourist-clogged beaches offering foot massages; by night she sleeps in a cave. She is plagued by constant nightmares of Charles Taylor’s brutal regime and its equally bloody downfall. She is safe, an escapee, a survivor, but she is also alone, destitute and down to her last. As she navigates her new home, hungry and weary, fending off the threats of Senegalese hawkers and avoiding the suspicious eyes of policemen who might deport her, she gradually learns to trust others, confront her past and overcome her guilt about being alive.

A Marker to Measure Drift is Alexander Maksik’s second novel and couldn’t be more different from his first. His debut, You Deserve Nothing (2011), was set in a school in Paris and was filtered through three characters’ perspectives. Here we are still in Europe but the focus is solely, at

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