It is my great pleasure today to be taking part in the blog tour for the highly emotional We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book in just a moment but first let’s take a look at what it’s all about.
The Official Book Blurb
A story about love, loss and finding hope-against all odds.
Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life. Or rather-he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.
Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.
We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.
This book … It should come with a health warning. Do not read if suffering from heavy cold as elicited emotional response may lead to loss of ability to breathe. I kid you not. There were times when reading this book that I cried so much I almost suffocated as I was suffering from the lovely seasonal flu bug at the time. Oh and do not read this in public unless you are planning on getting a lot of strange looks because if you can read this without being moved to tears, then you are quite possibly a high functioning sociopath. Just putting it out there … 😉
This is such an emotional and moving story. Any book which involves a child facing a life threatening condition would be. How can you not be moved by that? The story charts the story of Rob Coates who meets the love of his life, Anna, and together they marry and try their hardest to start a family. After a few false starts, enough in themselves to elicit a few tears, they are finally blessed with a son, Jack. He is a beautifully developed boy, very sweet and kind and Rob is devoted to him, heart and soul. So when he is diagnosed with a devastating condition, it almost breaks Rob, a man who would do anything to protect his child.
And from this stage on, the story develops into the journey that Rob, Anna and Jack go on as Jack lives through diagnosis, treatment and decline. Rob is a man who would give anything to find a cure for Jack, anything, even going as far as checking out all experimental treatments which may offer him some hope. You can feel his desperation seep from the page and as Luke Allnutt draws you further into the story, as a reader you feel there is nothing you wouldn’t give for the book not to reach its inevitable conclusion. Gah! It’s making me cry again now just thinking about the story to write this review.
Now the novel itself has arisen from a very emotional journey that author Luke Allnutt has also been on and this resonates in every word that has been written. The overwhelming fear of loss, the unconditional love between Rob and Jack and even the way in which the pressures of Jack’s illness affect the relationship between Rob and Anna. It all rings true and every single word will drive an emotional response in the reader, even if at times it is simply disbelief. The way in which the what happens to Jack breaks Rob … It is heartbreaking to read and yet fully believable. And there is one scene, when Jack is really ill but Rob and Anna take him to his school’s winter fair – the scene between Jack and his friends … man. Crying buckets then, crying buckets now. This … this is the scene that nearly killed me!
Rob’s journey is a truly emotional one which sees hims move from elation as a man who has everything he ever wanted, to complete despair, becoming a man so broken that he ends up losing everything. And yet, from the very beginning, despite what you know is yet to come, there is still an element of possibility. A tiny slither of light in the darkness and the reason for the title of book. A little bit of beauty which marks the tone of the bond between Rob and Jack. And the end of the book gives the reader hope. Hope that perhaps Rob has not quite lost everything.
If you are looking to be taken on an emotional, often heartbreaking journey, then do take a look. I cannot recommend this book enough. It will completely floor you, perhaps even break you a little, especially if you have ever experienced such a loss yourself, but it is far too beautiful a read to miss.
My thanks to publishers Trapeze for providing an advance copy of We Own The Sky for review. It is available from 8th February from the following retailers:
About the Author
Luke Allnutt grew up in Surrey and has lived and worked in Prague as a journalist since 1998, writing mostly about technology and Eastern European politics. In 2013, he wrote about his father’s death from a brain tumour in UNSPOKEN, a Kindle Single for Amazon. A keen runner, he is married and has two young boys.