The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell left me in love with the present and terrified of the dystopian.
It was a long, long journey of a woman’s life, where every chapter is around ten years. There are six chapters. It starts when she’s 15, sometime around the early 1980s, and ends around 2040. You see, clear as day, as the book goes from the past that does not feel too far away to some of us, to the comfort of the present, to what the future could turn out to be. It was somewhat scary, to me, at least, and left me wondering if the world could turn out as it was described in the text.
Her life is hard. Her life is hard, and taxing and trying and very, very long. It gets worse as time goes by, and you end up just hoping for it to get better. The situations dwindle into the frightening, you just want her safe. Her name is Holly Sykes.
It’s a hard book to talk about. It’s very changing. Every new chapter, aside from the first and last, which are in Holly Sykes’ perspective, is in a different point of view every other time, and it is not declared whose point of view you are reading from. You have to work it out when you see what characters are interacting, and when the character reacts in first person to a name. It is easy enough to do once you have the swing of things, but at first, it is rather unsettling. Holly Sykes is in every chapter, even if not immediately.
Other characters come to love her very dearly, and you do, too. She is loving, and loved, and lovable, while also being strong, and fearless, and caring, and every other positive adjective under the sun. During the worst of times she is realistic, and rightfully afraid, but also very, very capable of doing the right thing. She helps a lot of people as a reaction to the cards that life had dealt her. She sees herself in others and has to help. And she does.
It is a long book. It may have been a little longer than I myself had bargained for. (It’s 613 pages. I’m used to smaller books in series or stand-alone-s, so this was a piece of work to finish.) It would be wonderful for those who enjoy the dramatic plot, and also the aftermath, for those who enjoy long, long chapters, beautiful writing, complex characters, and excellent settings.
The book could be labelled spiritual, I believe. There is a lot of talk of “psychic moments” and “voices” and immortality, but this still intertwines perfectly with the rest of the story. Mysteries, love, family issues, health issues, and the somewhat realness that fits perfectly with the wildness.
It was thrilling. I enjoyed it heartily.