Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Sci-Fi
Received: From Netgalley. Thanks Macmillan!
Published: January 6th, 2015 by Roaring Brook Press
A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.Review:
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession
So this book went a little over my head. It's a smart book, and it's for smart people. I felt symbolism shooting out all over the place, motifs were everywhere, everything was done for a reason. It was all a bit overwhelming to me. This book is something different, something unique, and something just plain strange.
The Ghosts of Heaven is a collection of four short stories which take place in different time periods. Story 1 takes place in the cave-man era and is written in verse. I read this one quickly so I could be done with it. Verse and I are not friends... Story 2 was about the witch trials. I wish this story were longer, it was my favorite by far and the brevity of it didn't do the story justice. Story 3 was based in an asylum in the 1930s I think? Again, I wish this one had been longer. Story 4 takes place in the future in outer space and the main character realizes something is amiss. I was so confused here.
The imagery and writing were beautiful in parts, yet I couldn't really connect with any of the characters and stories. Each story was thought-provoking and intellectual. I spent most of the book confused to be honest.
Overall the book was profound and deep yet in the end it seemed to be just a rant about spirals with some deeper meaning that I totally didn't understand. Sedgwick is brilliant though, I'll give him that.