Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

A fifteen-year old teenager, Holly Sykes, runs away from home.  Her parents disapprove of her boyfriend and she is ready to chuck school and everything else for him.  When she discovers that he is not as entranced with her, she takes off to show everyone how much they will miss her.  Holly isn't your normal English teenager.  She has always been the one who knows a little too much; psychic phenomena surround her.  Holly isn't sure if the voices she hears are real, but she knows she hears them.

When Holly returns home after a weekend on her own, it is to a changed world.  Her family has been disrupted and things will never return to normal.  Holly is also changed and as she becomes an adult, she enters the life of various individuals, who are also changed by meeting her.  These individuals return throughout her life, with actions in one decade echoing and returning in later ones.  Holly is the nucleus; the focus of two groups of mystics; one who wants to help humanity while another wishes only to prey upon it.  Both regard Holly as a pivotal player in the fight for dominance.

David Mitchell is one of the finest novelists working today.  His prose is always entrancing; the reader led along only to be surprised at the destination at which they arrive.  This is his first entry into fantasy, although some would put his novel Cloud Atlas in that category.  Like that novel, this one depends on interrelated stories and relationships to advance the narrative and the reader is not disappointed at the end result.  This book has been longlisted for the Mann Booker Prize for 2014 and is a highly original work.  It is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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