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Thursday, 10 April 2014

CJ Flood - Infinite Sky

this book was reviewed live on the bookshow 10th April 2014, by Ro Bennett.  This is her review:

This is the official summary:
A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl's life, as her mum leaves home,  travellers set up camp in the family's field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket - but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend? Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.

This is young adult fiction, but I found it a good and gripping read. 
Iris is a 13 year old girl whose mum has gone off to live in Tunisia. Her dad, verging on the  alcoholic is not coping very well and her brother Sam has become angry and disruptive. Then to cap it all, a family of Irish travellers move illegally into the paddock behind their house. This incenses her father and Sam but Iris finds herself watching them. Intrigued by their lifestyle she wants to know more about them. She makes friends with a young lad called Trick despite being warned off any contact with the travellers by her dad and brother.
Tension continues to  build-up between Iris's family and the travellers and the situation becomes increasingly serious as their shed is broken into and items are stolen. Meanwhile Sam begins mixing with the wrong crowd, Sam’s father is floundering around not knowing how to deal with any of the problems thrust upon him and is becoming more and more angry and bitter - all in all, it’s a volcano waiting blow. 

The author skilfully builds the tension and suspense, the plot is believable and the characters are well defined. I wanted to enjoy the book but it was difficult to because even in the sweetness of the developing love between Sam and Trick (short for Patrick) there was this sense of foreboding and the knowledge that it was all going to go horribly wrong and a young lad was going to end up dead somehow and Iris would be left heartbroken and devastated. Would it be Sam or Trick and how would it happen? It kept me turning the pages…

Author C. J. Flood who looks about twelve is a recent graduate of the UEA Creative Writing MA. She is a member of the Lucky 13 writers group and has already won several prizes and awards for her writing. Infinite Sky is her debut novel, and she is currently working on a second book. She lives in Derbyshire.

In some ways the book did seem a bit like a writing group type project - on a Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story theme, but none the less it was a good read.
Ro Bennett

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