Monday, April 26, 2010
Return of the Review- 'The Rapture'- Liz Jensen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
I'm Back! Did you miss me? Ok, don't answer that, but even though I've been dealing with problems with my building and a nasty bout of the flu, I've still been busy working for the blog, so I'll start off with my return review.
‘The Rapture’ is a book that I saw a review about on ‘The TV Book Club’ and thought that it looked interesting.
In the not so distant future, Gabrielle Fox lives in a world on the edge of environmental crisis. After surviving a horrific car crash, which results in the death of her married lover and her unborn baby, she struggles to deal with her grief and the loss of her lower limbs.
After leaving rehabilitation, Gabrielle is appointed a position as an art therapist in Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital, where she is assigned to help Bethany Krall, a violent and disturbed teenager who killed her mother. Throughout their sessions, Bethany claims that she can foresee a series of natural disasters, which Gabrielle discovers come to fruition.
When Bethany predicts an event of apocalyptic proportions, Gabrielle seeks the help of Frazer Melville, a respected physicist and love between them blossoms. However, will they be able to save the world before the ‘Tribulation’ comes?
On the front cover on the book, there is a quote from ‘The Times’ newspaper which states that this book is ‘unputdownable’ and in my opinion, it’s true. I was so absorbed in this book, that I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened next. Jensen writes so realistically, that I could imagine everything that she was describing. As the book is set in times that are relevant to today’s society, I felt that this gave the book an extra edge of realism, which made the book even more gripping and interesting. In fact, I would like to research more into some of the ideas that Jensen proposes, in terms of the impact that global warming may have on the planet.
Concentrating on the writing itself, the characters were so well written, that I could feel a connection, particularly with Gabrielle and I cared what would happen to the characters next. The pace of the story is fast, but gripping and I didn’t feel that Jensen was rushing the development of the story. In recent novels, I have found that there is a tendency for authors to rush towards the end of the book, without tying the ends up satisfactory. However with this book, I feel that the pace with even and steady.
Also I think that the way in which Jensen deals with issues such as environmental damage, religion and the effect all of these has on people, was thought provoking and unnerving, particularly as some of the events with the volcano in Iceland, had some resonance with the plot of this novel....but I won't give that away!
‘The Rapture’ has been one of the few books that instead of finishing and immediately starting on a new book, I have been thinking about different elements of the book and also imagining what would happen to the characters next.
In fact, I feel that a second read of this book, would clarify the definitive message that this book is trying to convey, because I felt that the book could have several underlying messages. Mainly the message that I believe that it is trying to convey, is that each person should make the best of the circumstances no matter what they are and also each individual’s impact on others.
I love this book, I will go as far as to say that it is better than ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ and I rate that novel highly. This book is original, thrilling and perfectly comments on the state of today’s society. Also this novel has enough fantastical elements to it, to make ‘The Rapture’, an absorbing and often an unnerving read, I highly recommend it.
I'll be back with a review of Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' very shortly...