Thursday, January 21, 2021

Astral Travel 'Best of Best 2020 Reads' on The Wormhole

I'm delighted that on her popular blog The Wormhole, Charlie Place (pictured) includes Astral Travel in her 'Best of Best' reads of 2020, and that in another blog post, for her December reading, she calls it 'superb'. She says it's 'probably the best book about child abuse I've read', which gave me a little weird twitch, since I don't regard it as a book about child abuse - but then that's the interesting thing about books, that readers make of a book what they will. Once you've written a book and it's out there, it's no longer yours really, but theirs. Indeed, that's the magic of reading that first set me on this route when I was a child... 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Another nice review to offset another lockdown

Second day of a new lockdown predicted to last for several months! I hadn't realised quite how flattened I was feeling by this turn of events until I switched on my phone this morning to discover this really great review from Susan Osborne on A Life in Books. Instantly the whole world around me seemed brighter, the air softer, the day ahead more shaped and purposeful, and my body lighter and lither. (Just shows how even mild dejection can affect you physically.)

The story and structure of Astral Travel are quite complex - although I don't think it reads as difficult at all! There are stories within stories, and layers and meanings which remain hidden for much of the novel, emerging only later. I think it's therefore probably quite difficult to write about without either misrepresenting it or giving the game away, but if you want to know precisely what Astral Travel is about, then this review does it beautifully. (There really is an art to book reviewing.) Plus Susan Osborne calls the novel 'immersive' and 'deeply engrossing' and 'a fine novel, written with skill and empathy'!

You can read the whole review here