Sunday, 20 January 2013

Clay - Melissa Harrison

Is this this year's Night Circus? Or Snow Child?
It has the delicacy of Snow Child and the mystical essence of Night Circus.
Unlike Night Circus the landscape is very real and around us all at all times. Written by acclaimed nature writer Melissa Harrison the book takes 3 very different characters in an urban landscape and a relatively short time period.
Jozef is an immigrant of several years standing working to maintain a mean existence. TC is a child of a broken home who is a reader and adventurer/explorer in an age of xbox. Lastly, Sophia, a pensioner widow, living in her marital home long after it's show home glory has been eroded.
Gradually the three lives interconnect in an innocent manner reminiscent of times long past. Society, however, has moved on and sideways glances are inferred throughout the story.
What makes this book stand out is the setting of the tale. The urban landscape is painted over with the description of nature which abounds including the changes in the seasons – the new arrival of life, plants surviving, trees coppiced and sprouting. There's an element of nature to be admired in every layer of brick, crack in the pavement and derelict property.
That doesn't mean the reader is spared the harsher realities of urban warfare. There are tattoos, pit bulls, broken families, sadness and hunger present in the narrative.
This is a beautifully written book, not an off note in it at all, by a writer with an enviable vocabulary.
This one is my pick to soar high in 2013.
Would I buy another? Yes

Publisher - Bloomsbury

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