Monday, February 7, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - Review

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. This book was so beautiful I was literally crying at parts, not because it was sad, but because it was so achingly BEAUTIFUL. There was this one passage where I could f#%@ing FEEL the glory. I just put finished the book down and it's still zinging around and resonating deep in my chest. I think it was her depiction of fallen angels that got to me too--as the heroine at parts of the novels feels what they feel, a sadness, hurt, and rage beyond anything you could imagine. But at the same time, Hand was able to evoke it on the page! And then when the glory comes, by God you can feel it too.

There's so many things the book brings up about responsibility and destiny and free will, and most of all, about love. But not cheesy or love-at-first-sight or we-are-beautiful-people-and-must-therefore-be-in-love love. The real kind of love, the kind that catches you unexpectedly in the gut. And the characters were so well-realized, especially Clara, as we ride through the first-person narration of her entire journey, from an unquestioning certainty about the way the world works to that uncomfortable nebulous confusion that most people live in. In this way, Clara's journey echoes that of moving from adolescence to adulthood. Yes, when you are young your parents are heroes and the world revolves steadily on a bedrock of absolute truths. But then you grow up, and life is hard and uncertain, and you get to know yourself even as all the other things you imagined were solid turn to unsteady subjective whisps. What is truth? Where do you go from here? What is important in life? But this book seems to give hope that, underneath all the uncertainty of being human, love is at least real. It might not be entirely steady either, but it's something to ground you, or maybe even, something to lift you up and make you fly.

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