Review: This Northern Sky by Julia Green

August 23, 2013 Book Reviews 11 ★★★½

Review: This Northern Sky by Julia GreenThis Northern Sky by Julia Green
Published by Bloomsbury UK on July 4th 2013
Pages: 230
Source: NetGalley

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.


11 Responses to “Review: This Northern Sky by Julia Green”

  1. Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

    Great review. I really love YA books like this and especially when the characters are developed so well. My parents divorced when I was very young so I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I were older but I think it’s a lot tougher to deal with.

    • Danielle

      Thanks lovely! It was really well developed which was awesome and the island especially – you could almost smell the sea water!

  2. Trish @ Between the Lines

    Sounds lovely, the setting sounds great and the imagery must be impressive from the way you describe it.
    Witnessing your parents break up must be so hard no matter what age and I love to see YA books deal with issues like this in a thoughtful way.

  3. tonyalee

    I haven’t heard of this one before.. hm..

    It doesn’t like a difficult yet beautiful one. I’ll be on the lookout for it 🙂

    Great review!

  4. Julia Green

    Thank you for your lovely review. I’m so pleased you found the characters convincing, and liked the island setting for the story. And I’m very sorry you’ve been through a similar experience to Kate’s hard whatever age you are.

    • Danielle

      Thanks hon, it was and you’re right, it’s a subject YA books should pay more attention too rather than just having the disappearing parents!

  5. Clover

    Aww, wasn’t this one wonderful? I thought it incredibly sweet and I’ve never felt more like travelling to the Outer Hebrides for a holiday..

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