Last week, I received the latest copy of Ingenue magazine with the review of my latest book which knocked me out. I was over the moon with the review and today, a reader emailed me to say how much she was enjoying the book. As an author that’s all I need to carry on writing.
With temperatures like these, the only thing to do is read and write. So this week, I settled down with Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. How did I not know that he had a new book out when his last one blew me away? It was a chance remark by someone on the Global Bookclub Facebook Page which drew me to it and with great good luck my local library’s Libby site owned it and I could borrow it immediately. All hail Norfolk Libraries. So here’s my review.
The story threads between an ancient fable, a public library in Idaho, the fall of Constantinople and a spaceship taking a group of people escaping from earth to a new planet 500 years away. The broad thrust is about the dreamers – people who seek that Cloud Cuckoo Land where their dreams will come true but which don’t turn out they way they expect, and it’s about the people who get caught up in other’s dreams only to discover nightmares. It’s about people who use others for their own purposes then cast them aside when they are no longer of use and it’s about the destruction of the Earth. What a Scenario!
This book reminds me somewhat of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. But, whereas with Cloud Atlas, I was left wondering what it was all about in the end, here Doerr ties it all together. Yes, it was difficult to get into it with so many threads, so many timescales and the oddity of original fable, but as I became more deeply involved in the story, I began to appreciate the breadth and intricacies of his storytelling. All the Light I cannot See is in my top five books, this one, not quite so high, but I have a suspicion that it will live with me. It’s an important book. I see similarities with the dystopian novels of Margaret Atwood, although only a fraction takes place in the future. If you have time, it’s a long book, and fortitude – read it.