Sunday, 26 December 2010

Book Review: Being Light by Helen Smith

Roy Travers is helping his friend put up a bouncy castle for a fun day when he gets blown away aboard it and disappears. He finds himself in Paradise with an angel named Sylvia. Meanwhile his wife Sheila, unswayed by friends suggesting he might have run off with another woman or simply that he died in the freak accident, becomes convinced he has been abducted by aliens.

The book follows a cast of distinctive characters, whose lives are seemingly unconnected, but as the story develops the reader starts to see how they overlap. Some of the characters are larger than life and a good deal of humour derives from their views and actions in trying to achieve their aims, but there is also a sense of sadness that many are missing something from their lives, be it a person or a sense of direction. There are a lot of characters to keep track of but as the book progresses and their interactions become clearer it becomes easier to follow.

I enjoyed the satire and the wry observations about life the author makes, and I wanted to keep reading to find out what had happened to Roy but also to see who would finally connect with whom and how. I did find that because of the formatting on the kindle paragraphs ran together that probably shouldn't have, and it wasn't instantly clear that the action had moved, but careful reading and being engrossed in the story meant this was not a major issue.

I hadn't appreciated that this book features Alison of Alison Wonderland, had I done so I would probably have read that first to have had a greater background on her character but I think Being Light is perfectly capable of standing on it's own. It's a good, character driven story that I was desperate to finish to find out how things would turn out.

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