Infinite Sky by CJ Flood
|Infinite Sky by CJ Flood|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Intense story of family breakdown and first love. It's really rather lovely. And heartbreaking, too.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: February 2013|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal
As summer begins, Iris is finding that life can be quite tricky. Her mother has packed up and left to go travelling. Her father isn't coping too well with having been abandoned by his wife. Her brother, Sam, is in trouble at school and in danger of going off the rails generally. And Iris herself is feeling overtaken by her best friend, who is obsessed with boys and fashion while Iris prefers to run wild in the woods as she's always done.
But the family clings to a vague sense of normality, nonetheless. Until a family of travellers arrive and set up camp in their field. And then everything unravels. Suspicion falls on the travellers when Dad's shed is broken into. Sam falls in with the local thugs and starts drinking. Mum continues to follow her own private dream at the expense of her children. And Iris falls in love for the very first time.
Oh, Infinite Sky is a lovely story. Dealing with coming-of-age, it's full of the intense feelings and paralysis of articulacy that this time brings. Iris thinks a lot. She feels a lot. She even dares a lot. But when it comes to confrontation or to offering a potentially contentious point of view, she is stuck. She wants to tell her father that he is wrong about Trick. She wants to persuade her brother that he's treading a dangerous path. But she lacks both the ruthlessness and the experience to do either. Instead, she feels frozen - an actor in the drama but not one strong enough to change its outcome.
But you love her. Iris is not an ingenue, as her father believes. On the contrary, she sees things very clearly indeed, and through the eyes of an intelligent, full-hearted young woman-to-be. And Trick is her counterpart in the travelling community. If only everyone else would listen to them, you think, as you read. But they don't. And it's sad.
CJ Flood writes in that heady, naturistic, sensuous way that is popular at the moment. Think Julia Green and Sarah Dessen. These are intense, internalised writers in the great romantic tradition and they strike a chord with the YA audience, who, like Iris and Trick, are dealing with growing up, new kinds of relationships, and an overload of new experience and impression. They strike a chord with me, too. I like books that make me laugh and cry and get cross about things, and remind me that one can find poetry in the most unlikely and difficult places, if only one takes the time to look. Infinite Sky is such a book. So I think you should like it. I do.
You can read more book reviews or buy Infinite Sky by CJ Flood at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Infinite Sky by CJ Flood at Amazon.com.
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