Book Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

fullsizerenderI was transported to the rugged California coast by this beautiful novel, which tells the story of twins Noah and Jude, coming of age in artsy surf town Lost Cove. The POV swaps between the twins and between two distinct timelines, one before the series of tragic events that drove the formerly very close siblings apart and one after. We’re left to piece the story together pretty much as they do, since the assumptions they’ve made and the secrets they’ve kept from each other mean that they only each know half of the story.

It’s not an easy task to deliver two distinct and unique voices within one book but Nelson is pitch perfect. Both protagonists are artistic free spirits so their descriptions are unusual and original and poetic, rendering the novel into life as if it itself was one of the paintings that are so vividly evoked within its pages. The love stories are believable and realistic while also being transcendent and beautiful. The entire cast of characters are interesting, engaging and deeply flawed, fleshing out the bones of the twins’ family, history and community, the whole of which is brought to life with an honesty that is deeply moving.

An engaging, page-turning plot, sumptuous prose and a cast of fascinating characters – one of the best books I have read this year and one that stays with you, long after you read the final words.