Published by Bloomsbury UK on July 4th 2013
Kate's parents are taking her on holiday with them to a cottage on a remote island in the Hebrides. Kate can't imagine anything more boring. But underneath her sulkiness, Kate is scared. Her parents have been fighting and she knows that for her parents this holiday is make or break. Once at the cottage, Kate escapes - outside, anywhere. And there she meets the warmth of the islanders, who are prepared to accept her and to listen to her. And possibly fall in love with her . . .
This Northern Sky was a sweet, quiet, unassuming tale of family life and the struggles a teenager must go through on a daily basis. There are no vampires, shadow hunters or magic powers.
Kate and her parents are on a summer trip to the Hebrides islands. It’s a last ditch effort to save their marriage and keep the family together. While my parents split up later in my adult life I could relate very much to Kate and the helplessness she felt as tension snaked through even the happiest of moments. That awful feeling of inevitability that strangles your outlook despite desperately trying and wishing things to be okay.
Kate does what I did. She escapes, trying her best to ignore the hurt and pain that awaits her when she looks into her parents eyes and sees what’s reflected back in hers. Exploring the remote islands and the stark beauty of the most northern parts of the UK, Kate connects with the islanders in particular Finn and his family. The descriptions of the island are beautiful, the evocative images stirred emotions in me especially the depiction of the threats to it’s natural beauty by outsiders wishing to push “progress” upon the land. As Kate gets involved with Finn’s efforts to stem the tide, Green reminds us how important our land is to us, the connection our souls have with nature and it’s unyielding power. Green’s compelling writing captivated me from start to finish and I found myself rooting for Kate, her family, the islanders and the island itself.
A beautiful, elegant work – the characters are realised and develop naturally over the pages.
At times my heart hurt with the sorrow, the love, the happiness and hope –
THIS NORTHERN SKY is a haunting and exquisite coming of age novel.