My book club picked The Unseen World, at my suggestion, and so of course I waited until the last minute to start it. Don’t know why I did that. It was so good. And I never would have picked it up without book club (even though I suggested it), so thank goodness for book clubs. Anyways, I started it yesterday at 10 AM, got through a little over half by bedtime, then woke up early to finish. I got through all but the last ten pages, so I made my friend Laura drive to book club so I could finish in the car (that’s how much I wanted to finish; I ALWAYS get car sick when I read, and sure enough . . .) If I hadn’t have been in the car with her when I read the last few sentences, I’m fairly certain I would have burst into tears. As it is, I still teared up. And then we all got teary, if not downright weepy, while talking about it over the next couple of hours. It’s the first book in a long time that my whole book club loved unanimously.
But, like, it’s not a weeper. It’s not one of those stories designed to make you feel luxuriously sad. It’s just a story that is absurdly well written, so well-written that it sucks you in and everything is real, and makes you feel feelings of humanity and joy and love and regret and sorrow and sadness and helplessness and capability, and all the feelings, really.
As my friend Lindsay (also in book club) said in her review, I can’t think of any reason NOT to give it five stars.
I’m not going to talk about the actual book in this review, because I think that 1) Going in without knowing the plot would make for the best experience, and 2) If you hear the plot, you might think that it sounds uninteresting or whatever, and then you will miss out, so just like, trust me and read it. If you like stories about growing up, about growing older, about intelligence and love, about secrets and families and things that you can’t see but feel all the time, about technology and permanence, and intangibility and the ephemeral nature of life, about fathers and daughters and secret histories and mysteries and stolen lives, and just, so much more . . . pick this up and see if it doesn’t grab you.
I don’t want to oversell here. This isn’t a life-changing book. It’s not going to reshape your entire world. It’s just a GOOD book, small in scale, but strong in emotion. It knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be, and it does it so well, it deserves to be read, even by people who don’t normally read straight-up fiction.
So I think you should read it, also. The End.