OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS BOOK.
And I have no idea how to write about it.
Ten pages in, I was all, "HEY, COOL! THIS IS SO WICKER MAN-Y! I LIKE."
Then, I came to the end of the first part. And my eyes got all big and round and I was all (much more subdued, but no less blown away), "Oh, hey, this is VERY Wicker Man-y."
And then, partway through the second segment, I thought, "Wow. Hello, Cloud Atlas."
After that, I stopped thinking about anything except the story—stories—in front of me, and I read and read and read until there were no more pages to read. And I was crying.
I still feel dazed.
It's not going to be for everyone. I GUARANTEE that some readers are going to want to throw it at the wall. (Perhaps you have already done so?) But something about it resonated with me. It's not just that I'm impressed by the structure—I am—or that I love Sedgwick's writing and skillful atmosphere creation—I do—or that I was blown away by how each segment was so different, but how (even discounting the physical details: the names, the flowers, the hare) each one was also so clearly part of a larger whole.
All of those things are a part of why I loved it, but there was something... BIGGER, yet less tangible beyond that. I think it was that even though the premise doesn't jive with my own personal, in real life worldview—I'm one of those who can't wrap my mind around anything beyond conceived/born/live/die/dead*—that the idea of these two people finding each other over and over again was genuinely, heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
Even though [SPOILER] it was a tragedy almost every time.
But, compared to the love that began—and ultimately ended—their story, the tragedy that followed them felt inconsequential. [/SPOILER]
As the footnote below explains, I have a hard time with the metaphysical.
It's just a gorgeous, gorgeous book.
So good that it has apparently made my brain implode.
*Which reminds me of a conversation I had years ago:
Family Friend Who Is Way Into Astrology: And so since you have so much Libra in your chart, that means that etc., etc....
Me: I dunno. I just have a hard time buying the idea that I am who I am because of where the planets were when I was born.
FFWIWIA: Oh, that's just because you're a Gemini. You're all about the intellectually concrete.
Me: So I don't believe in astrology because... I'm a Gemini?
Book source: ILLed through my library.