Urgh, writer’s envy is a terrible thing. And I felt it on basically every other page, if not more, of this book. There’s just so much I love about the surprising and original writing. And the characters are just so vividly drawn, not just Violet and the amazing Finch, but so so many others as well – their families, their school friends, even the bit parts are so solidly depicted. The love story is so well paced as well, so compelling. Literally could NOT put it down. I think this is one of the most relatable and sensitive depictions of mental health issues I’ve seen, as well as giving a fresh, original and realistic take on it. Totally jealous, and am simultaneously excited for the movie and fearful it won’t live up to my high expectations.
I 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.
July 1st saw the release of the first translated foreign language version of The Loneliness of Distant Beings – Eenzaam en Extreem Ver Weg – in Holland. So far, the Dutch publishers, bloggers, readers (well just about everybody involved) have been so positive and responded with such enthusiasm and I am super excited to have been translated into a language I don’t even slightly understand so that I can reach a whole new set of readers. Can you imagine how hard it is to translate a whole book? Crazy.
On the left is the quote card the Dutch publishers produced with a book club who sent my book out in the monthly box to their subscribers. There were two hundred of these cards that traveled all the way to Spain for me to sign, before heading back to Holland and into the homes of new readers. A few of them even made videos of them”unboxing” and then posted them online (apparently this is a thing). Obviously I have no idea what anyone is saying in these videos but I still think they’re very cool: http://www.celebratebooks.nl/unboxing/.
Tonight I will even be dropping in to an event over there (sadly only via Skype) but I am really looking forward to meeting (sort of) some of my readers over there. Wish me luck!