For Shai, lost and drifting, a visit to her hometown in India’s Northeast offers the possibility of new ways of living.
For Evelyn, a Cambridge student, scientific inspiration guides her to the forests of the lower Himalayas and a world she has only read about.
For Johann, a German writer, travelling through Italy inspires him to develop ground-breaking ideas that will cement his place in history.
And for a young Swede, an unwavering curiosity for earth’s natural wonders takes him on an expedition that will forever alter the way we understand the world around us.
A marvellous exploration of our ways of seeing, Everything the Light Touches brings together people and places that seem, at first, far removed from each other in time and place. Yet as we discover, all is resonance, all is connection.
I remember being struck by the author’s writing in The Nine-Chambered Heart, a story that pieced together a woman as perceived by nine nameless characters. Her new novel promised more of that elegant prose and I think that’s what drove me to request this ARC.
Everything the Light Touches follows four people who, separated by time and place, share a love for travel and ecology. Their connection transcends time and yet their common purpose adds weight to the knowledge that people, like plants, have to find their roots.
The book has a lyrical prose with a philosophical bent that is explained using the language of botany. The characters’ individual journeys evoke a sense of purpose and belonging that is connected like a network of roots under the ground – invisible on the surface but a source of strength and nourishment.
As much as I loved the writing, I confess I didn’t quite understand the purpose of the characters’ stories. For me, it made more sense as short stories where the reader revisits each character. Or maybe that’s how it was meant to be. And yet, there were moments when I was utterly captivated by the poetic nuances. It was like a picture being drawn before my eyes – word by word.
One of those rare books that you enjoy not for the story but simply for the experience of reading.
Everything the Light Touches by Janice Pariat. This edition due to be published on 13th Oct 2022 by The Borough Press, an imprint of HarperCollins UK. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and HarperCollins UK.
Book 37 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟1/2.
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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