This is a tough one.
A sort of genre-mash of things I love but together seemed a little disjointed but still good…yeah…
A few years back the town of Splendor was wracked by an industrial accident. Pretty much everyone in the town was effected in some way.
The plant were the accident occurred literally employed about half the town. There was an explosion and a lot of people were killed.
As you can for imagine, for a small town, this had horrible ramifications. People had brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and spouses stolen away from them in an instant.
In part, that is what this book is about. Even though it is around 5-years later, the aftermath continues to be challenging for those remaining residents of Splendor.
We follow a group of teens who have really come together since the accident. The adults in their lives are dealing with their own grief and sort of left the kids on their own to deal with theirs. This group of kids has come to rely on each other in both meaningful and beautiful ways.
As an exploration of grief, this is a touching, heart-wrenching story but there is also a science-fiction element that I found truly interesting.
You can tell that the author really enjoys science, as do I. There are detailed sections on black holes, time/space, fibonacci spirals and the idea of a cosmic consciousness.
I loved the friend group and how supportive they were of one another and I loved the science. However, there was something a little wonky about the way it was all strung together. It didn’t feel cohesive to me.
As always, this is 100% subjective and you may read this and think, ‘what the hell was Meg talking about?’ And that’s fine!
Just for me, it felt like the narrative was fighting over what kind of story it was trying to be. It didn’t feel like a seamless composition, if that makes sense.
Overall, I am really glad that I read this book. It is definitely a thoughtful exploration of a lot of interesting and important topics. I also think Emily Henry is a very talented woman and clearly a lot more intelligent than I am!