It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other.
As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah, ever the outsider, is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Frigthened and alone, she prays for help. What happens next will force her to question everything she believes.
Bursting with Carson’s trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option.
My thoughts on The Raptures….
I’m not going to lie, I requested a copy of The Raptures because of the cover. I’m also not lying when I say I am really glad I did. I absolutely loved this book and, unless it’s a really, really, good year for reading, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will probably make it into my top ten reads for 2022.
Why? The writing is spot on for a start – there wasn’t a word I felt shouldn’t be there. The story is compelling – even though in many ways, nothing happens for whole chunks of time (the anticipation of what was coming next kept me reading). And the characters are fascinating, with lots of quirks that could make them annoying but – instead – makes them real.
I felt at home in Ballylack. I could picture the people, the places, and the terror they were going through as the illness takes hold of their community and starts taking their children. I know I can’t go back there, but I am really glad I got to visit.
Reading The Raptures, I was reminded of The Vegetarian by Han Kang. Not that they are similar in style or subject. But they way they made me feel. Both took me out of myself in a way books rarely do nowadays (probably because I read too much crime fiction, which is formulaic) and reminded me why I love reading.
Highly recommended. Five stars!
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Please note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own.