Something to Tell You by David Edwards
|Something to Tell You by David Edwards|
|Category: Dystopian Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A chilling look at what happens when earth is bombarded with a stream of dangerous particles. The characters and story are compelling - I cried at one point. Recommended,|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: May 2019|
|Publisher: Troubador Publishing|
Sam Murray and Bert Leinster had been friends for a long time. Bert was Sam's boss at CERN, but this never seemed to affect the way that the families got on. Bert's wife, Natalia, was Russian and seriously rich. Their twins, fifteen-year-olds Allie and Josh, went to a private boarding school, but at weekends they were great friends with Sam's two children, Liam and Hannah. Sam's wife, Briony, was head of product research at Nestlé. Life was good for all eight of them, until Sam - a particle physicist - spotted that the rate at which Higgs Boson particles were hitting the earth had risen exponentially. It's enough of a problem for Sam and Bert to drag the head of CERN, Prof Ralph Moyeur, out of a family lunch. Then Bert started having conversations with a plant called Lily.
Normally I don't do particle physics (well, any physics...) and I definitely don't do gods in any form, but there was something about Something to Tell You which caught my attention. I liked the elegant contrast between the advanced Physics at CERN and the 11th century vineyards at Lavaux on the side of the lake where the families live. There's a normality in what's about to become a very confused world, and what a world David Edwards builds. I loved the fact that Edwards could tell a good story about something which I'd always thought to be well above my head and leave me feeling that I understood the basics. That's skillful writing. There is quite a bit of exposition but it's neatly woven into the story and I never felt overwhelmed.
The best minds can't come up with an explanation for what has caused the Higgs Boson storm and there's no way of predicting when - or if - it might end. The particles damage living matter and the only way to prevent that happening is to move the world's population underground into specially-equipped bunkers which are protected by The Envelope. Governance of individual countries has been ceded to a central body - Central Control of the World, or CCOW for short. CCOW issue newsletters and decrees to make people aware of what is happening. The instances of untruths in their communications are small at first - and in all honesty you can understand why it was done. The truth would have helped no one and would have caused panic. The end of the world (#EOTW) was coming, but it was obviously better that the general population wasn't aware of quite how quickly. They certainly didn't need to know that the promised bunkers couldn't accommodate everyone and wouldn't live up to expectation.
The characters burrowed into my mind and stayed there long after I'd finished reading. I was so invested in the individuals that I cried for one of them. The last time I did that in a similar situation (see how careful I am about not giving spoilers?) was when I reread Animal Farm and George Orwell's masterpiece came to mind several times as I read. So too did the holocaust.
Something to Tell You is a good read. I hesitate to say that I enjoyed it, given the subject matter but I finished the book over two days, determined to find out what happened to the people I'd come to care about. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Last by Hanna Jameson.
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