One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking…
The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly’s life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland’s Atlantic coast as Europe’s oil supply dries up – a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality.
I think most of David Mitchell’s books are similar in that they are quite confusing and you really need to read them more than once to fully understand what is going on. Fortunately The Bone Clocks is not as confusing as his other books, though I do feel like I need to give this another read before I can properly comment on it.
It just wasn’t as good as I had expected. Now this could be down to the fact that it simply isn’t as good as his other books. Or it could be the fact that I’ve waited so long to read this book that in my head I’ve built it up to be some amazing work of fiction. Or maybe like I already said, it could be that I need to read it again to fully understand all the foreshadowing and everything else that’s going on. Either way it just wasn’t as good as I though it would be.
But that’s not to say it wasn’t good, its just not 5 stars. Because I did enjoy it. The first chapter is a wonderful introduction to out protagonist. You really feel like you’re in the 80s in south England with her, going on her adventure. The fifth chapter was a fantastic mix of science-fiction and fantasy. Exactly what I’ve come to expect from David Mitchell. The final chapter was heartbreaking and nearly made me put the book down.
I also really liked the fact that the basis for this book is very similar to Cloud Atlas, both are about souls and reincarnation. However David Mitchell has managed to create two entirely different books that are both based on the same idea. Another little thing, and this is not unique to The Bone Clocks but David Mitchell has a habit of inserting characters from his other books. It’s really just a fun little nod to his other works and doesn’t detract from the overall story if you don’t get the references.
Basically even though it didn’t live up to my expectations, it was still a good book.
*I received a copy of this book from Sceptre in exchange for an honest review.