Title: We Own The Sky (ARC)
Author: Luke Allnutt
No. of pages: Paperback; 359 (Released Hardcover; 368)
Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Adult, European Literature, British Literature, Family, Contemporary
Publisher: Park Row
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Date Read: April 8, 2018
Rob Coates feels like he’s won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob’s world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness.
We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again. (Goodreads)
I actually got this ARC from one of our local Barnes and Nobles that I found in a clearance bin right before I left working there. I wasn’t too sure about it, but it was free so I said “What the Heck.” and went with it. It actually wasn’t a bad story, and I kind of liked it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
We Own The Sky finds Rob Coates as a drunk who travels randomly and takes pictures of that which he then posts on the internet with messages to his son. The majority of the book is a flashback to how he became this drunk nomad without a care in the world. We see Rob meet Anna in college, their relationship blooming, love and a wedding happens, and the devastation as they struggle to conceive. And then comes Jack. Jack is their life. One day they notice that Jack becoming increasingly clumsy and blacking out at the most inconvenient times. The diagnosis, brain cancer. What follows is a look into the Rob’s struggle with dealing with this diagnosis, hope, love, loss, a downward fall, and then a hopeful end of reconciliation and forgiveness.
One thing I really liked about his book was the candidness of the author as to how this book was created. Allnutt, while writing this book came up with the idea based off of his own experience. In the beginning of the book, he includes a note detailing his own cancer diagnosis and how that pushed him to writing this book.
Truly, this story is one that many can relate to as cancer in any form has seemed to flourish in the past few years. I personally have friends that have had cancer, family members who have passed away from cancer, and family members surviving it today. Seeing family and friends fighting and overcoming cancer is one experience that I WISH this family could have had, but one thing that I kept thinking as I read was that there wasn’t a support system in place that could have helped the family. There were no counselors, they had lost many close friends, there were no family left that could have helped them in the days following their loss. I wish, and HOPE, that in reality, outside of the realm of this book, families that have a member fighting cancer get the support that they need.
Overall, this book was one that really made me think. It took me a while to get through because contemporary books are hard for me to read, but I’m glad that I stuck with it.