- “The Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick
- Young Adult Historical Fiction
- Read as a hard copy.
- 5/5 stars
- Finished September 26, 2015
A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
I. Loved. This. Book.More than I expected to love this book.
I started reading it at work, I work as a customer service rep, and when things are slow, rather than doing things that require a lot of bandwidth (like watching Netflix) I read my ebooks. I’d been dying to read this book, so I started it at work and had no idea what I was in for. In the end, I stopped reading this at work because it was a book that demanded my full attention and I found it hard to go back and forth between calls and this book. That’s a good thing. I ordered this from Thrift Books and started reading on my bus ride everyday.
This book is broken up into 4 individual parts. Stories that can be read on their own and stand in how powerful they are on their own, or that can be read together, in any configuration to create an amazing story all based around a spiral. My favorite arc was the second – the girl in puritan times – but I found all the stories equally enthralling and beautiful. I even called my grandpa and told him he needed to read this book stat. The only section I found slightly difficult to get into at first was the last – mostly because it took place in the future – which meant there was some world building that had to be done that didn’t…really..have to be done in the others because you just knew what time period they were from.
The way Sedgwick writes women is phenomenal, he doesn’t seem to prescribe to the view many men have when they write women is in order to have a strong female character they must go through something traumatic. He writes characters of both genders with ease, and I’m in awe of how beautifully he’s mastered his craft. If I haven’t convinced you yet, read this book. It’s amazing.
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