Welcome to month two of me attempting to work my way through my ‘to be read’ pile. In my case, its a shelf, and whilst I originally thought it was a huge obstacle, the summer holidays are approaching rapidly! Long warmer days of enjoying the great outdoors and a leisurely afternoon of reading are almost here. Who am I kidding, I always dream it will work out that way, and I’ll plow my way through ten or so novels, but the reality is, I usually wind up doing two. Three if I’m lucky. And that’s good enough.
November’s book was ‘Bird Box’ by Josh Malerman. I originally ran out and bought it after seeing a Netflix trailer for the movie based on the book. The concept is a good one, along the same lines as ‘A Quiet Place’. What happens to people if you remove one of their senses. For a day, a week, indefinitely. What skills will they develop. And how do you survive in a new world? The book follows the story of Malorie, both in the past and the present, switching between gruelling realities where the new reality is that if you look outside, you will go insane. Homicidally, suicidally insane.
There are moments of genuine hope and camaraderie amongst the inhabitants of Malorie’s new world, as well as the stark emptiness of the world where she and her four year old children, simply named Boy and Girl are running for their own survival outside the safety of the house that shelters them for a long stretch of their lives. The difficulties of making any kind of journey without the luxury of sight are evident, but what is fascinating is the inner turmoil this can bring. It makes us all ask the question – what would we do if faced with the same situation?
It’s a riveting read, tense and well paced, with characters you can relate to. There’s no let up of the tension throughout either the past or present stories, and aside from one incident at the conclusion of the book, a plausible discovery of what drives humans, and how fragile the bonds that hold us together can be.
For December, I’m hoping to knock over more than one novel, starting with Force of Nature by Jane Harper. A thriller about five women who participate in a team building exercise, but only four return. How well do we really know the people we work with? It’d describes as a cross between Picnic at Hanging Rock and Lord of the Flies from a great Aussie author. Happy reading, I hope you all get to have some lazy time in the sun too!