Saturday, 30 January 2010
Review: Nation - Terry Pratchett
...Mau is on his way home from the Boy's Island.
Soon he will be a man.
And then the wave comes - a huge wave, dragging black night behind it and bringing a schooner which sails over and through the island rainforest.
The village has gone.
The Nation has gone.
Now there's just Mau, who wears barely anything, a trouserman girl who wears far too much, and an awful lot of big misunderstandings...
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I'm a big fan of Terry Pratchett but this is the first of his books that I've read that isn't a Discworld story. I wasn't sure what to expect but I certianly wasn't disappointed. This book takes you through a full range of emotions - from incredibly sad, to laughing out loud and everything in between. It is a book that makes you think - about love, loss, joy, despair, growing up, faith, religion and much more.
The story is set in a parallel universe in the equivalent of Victorian times - Mau comes from a small Island in the southern ocean and Daphne is a young lady from London who is travelling to stay with her father. Mau has been alone on the Boy's Island as part of his coming of age ceremony and is travelling back to The Nation to finally become a man when the Tsunami hits. Daphne is the only survivor when the ship she was travelling on is wrecked on the island by the storm.
Mau's entire village has been wiped out by the wave - everyone he knew and loved are dead. He is also worried about his soul as he hasn't completed the coming of age ceremony. He has to learn to deal with his loss and questions his religion - how could the God's have allowed this tragedy to happen? Daphne has been brought up to believe that the islanders are "savages" but as more and more survivors turn up in need of assistance she begins to question everything she thought she knew.
This is a story of great loss but there is a lot of hope too as the survivors work together to re-build their lives. This is a thought provoking book that will have you questioning everything and make you grateful to be human. It is more serious than Terry Pratchett's Discworld series but his humor still shines through alongside a facinating insight into human nature, religion and philosophy. This really is a book not to be missed.
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.