by Helen Sedgwick (Harvill Secker) ISBN 9781910701744
‘Why draw a square house with a triangular roof when you can draw the patterns in the stars?’
This is definitely my best book of the year. It has everything I’m always looking for in a book: magic, science, and love stories. The tone and lyrical clear writing resonate with Sarah Winman’s books, including When God was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvellous Ways.
Several stories are intertwined, like echoes of past generations, moving backward and forward through time. But the two main storylines are about Róisín and François who meet in Antarctica at a research centre. She is fascinated by comets. He is the chef of the team.
The comets that have passed through the skies for the last hundreds of years connect them and influence the destiny and fate of this unlikely pair. The ghosts of the past also play an important role in the lives of Róisín and Francois. A thread through the embroidery of this narrative is the tapestry of Bayeux.
This is Sedgwick’s debut novel. She is a research physicist from Edinburgh. Science and poetry often go together. I can’t wait to read her next book.