Synopsis via Goodreads
Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.
The Bone Clocks is, for lack of a better word, boundless. It has no beginning and it has no end. This will only make sense, really, once you read it, but it’s the best way I can describe the story. All focus is aimed on the life of Holly Sykes and her “radio people”; voices and visions she encountered since she was a child. However, her view point is only portrayed in two segments of the book, the rest is viewed through the lives of men and women she falls into contact with throughout her life span starting in 1984 and ending in 2048.
The Bone Clocks holds a genre of it’s own, for with every section comes a new story and with each new story comes a new genre. The change in character kept the story interesting and prompted your brain waves to alter its initial course, however in the end some of the characters became just a pawn when you first envisioned them being a queen, or at the very least a knight. Not all characters hold their value, but that may be what Mitchell intended.
All in all David Mitchell is a literary genius; a statement intended with no embellishments. His ability to capture a life and evolve it into a network of stories that reflect the world in such a large span of time baffles my mind. (Someone please send me his IQ because I am sure it is out of this world.)
If you are looking for a novel that tells one heck of story and will challenge you just the same, this is a top-notch pick.
“What if… what if heaven is real, but only in moments? Like a glass of water on a hot day when you’re dying of thirst, or when someone’s nice to you for no reason, or… Mam’s pancakes with Mars Bar sauce; Dad dashing up from the bar just to tell me, “Sleep tight don’t let the bedbugs bite”; or Jacko and Sharon singing “For She’s a Squishy Marshmellow” instead of “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” every single birthday and wetting themselves even though it’s not all that funny; and Brendan giving his old record player to me instead of one of his mates. “S’pose heaven’s not like a painting that’s just hanging there forever, but more like… like the best song anyone ever wrote, but a song you only catch in snatches, while you’re alive, from passing cars, or… upstairs windows when you’re lost…”
“Being born’s a hell of a lottery.”
“Love’s pure free joy when it works, but when it goes bad you pay for the good hours at loan-shark prices.”
“People are icebergs, with just a bit you can see and loads you can’t.”
“We live on, as long as there are people to live on in.”
“… Modesty is Vanity’s craftier stepbrother.”
“Human cruelty can be infinite. Human generosity can be boundless.”