We Own the Skyby Published 03 Apr 2018
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“We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves.”
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.
"We Own the Sky" Reviews
A sick child, parents desperate to find help, to do anything to cure their child. The story begins with Rob Coates in a low place, depressed, drinking and grieving alone. The story of a family dealing with a crisis is told from Rob’s point of view. Rob and Anna love their five year old son Jack and each other, but as it sometimes happens, relationships are affected as people struggle to deal with sadness and loss. Decisions are made and rifts occur. It’s an emotional read, about difficult circumstances, yet it captures moments of joy that ease the road to forgiveness and healing. I don’t usually comment on book covers, but this one says so much about the story in it’s beauty and simplicity - a man and his little boy.
I’m finding it difficult to write a review without giving anything away so this may seem a little vague, a little short, but I prefer to keep away from specifics. This is an emotional story, realistic and one that drew me in from the beginning, not just the beginning of the novel, but in Allnutt’s note to the reader at the start of the book, where he tells us what his motivation was to write the book : “I wrote it because I thought I was going to die.” Having been diagnosed with a serious illness, on a journey of healing of his own, he wrote this story of healing and hope reflected in the journey of Rob, Anna and beautiful Jack.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Park Row Books/HarperCollins through NetGalley and Edelweiss.
The unraveling of a family when a child takes ill. What one parent will do to try to beat the odds. The sacrifices monumental.
This is a story of love, loss and of forgiveness. The stripping of one's character to the most primitive of emotions. The rawness of grief. The flaws in character that are magnified during a dark and desperate moment. And the healing that comes with acceptance.
I found this to be beautifully written but still something amiss for that emotional connection that would have made this a perfect read.
3.5 stars. A very touching story about family, hope, love and loss.
Rob and Anna Coates are happily married with a young son named Jack. Tragedy strikes their lives when a devastating illness is diagnosed. This novel follows Rob through the aftermath of this diagnosis. It is an honest, emotional, raw and sincere look into the face of family tragedy and grief.
The author, Luke Allnutt, writes from the heart. His own personal battle with cancer sparked the idea of writing this heartfelt story. There are many hard-hitting moments. My emotions swirled throughout this book – I felt for this family and shed more than a few tears at what they experienced and endured.
For the majority of the novel, I felt a strong connection, however, I did find there were parts where my mind wandered. For me, there were a few sections that seemed like extra detail that wasn’t necessary but it didn’t take away from the story as a whole. Overall, I really enjoyed this journey.
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin and Luke Allnutt for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Oh those Facebook mothers. The way they talked, as if they had invented motherhood, as if they had invented the womb, telling themselves they were different from their own mothers because they ate quinoa and had cornrows in their hair and ran a Pinterest board on craft ideas for the recalcitrant under-fives.
Her eyes are like lizard tongues, darting toward me when she thinks I’m not looking.
There was a strange musty smell in Anna’s parents’ house: it reminded me of Werther’s Butterscotch or the jasmine-scented handkerchiefs old people put in their drawers.
Too soon. He was seventy-four. He’d had his three score and ten. David Frost had probably spent more time on the toilet than my son had been alive.
I should have listened to my dad. He liked a drink, but hated drinkers. It’s all about them, son, he had told me, boring old bastards, always droning on. All them clever thoughts, son, but the boy could hardly stand. Because it gets you like that, the booze. It makes you think you’re unwrapping the world. But you’re not. The world is unwrapping you.
This book gutted me, but in the best way possible. Cleverly written with wit and observantly insightful detail that tapped all the senses, I was engaged and invested throughout this tragic yet uplifting and transformative journey. I was staggered by the knowledge that this stunningly crafted work was Mr. Allnutt’s debut. I was quite taken by his well-honed and smooth writing style, which pulled me right into the vortex of a loving and desperate father’s cranium. I felt and absorbed his jubilance as well as his disequilibrium and misery. The premise was relevant and moving while the prose was heart squeezing and emotive. I fell in love with the adorable little Jack.
Sometimes you start a book and within the first few paragraphs you just connect. Maybe it's the writing, the situation or the characters, but occasionally these books get under your skin and hook you until the final page.
For me personally, this was one of those books. As a parent it is never easy to read about a young child becoming ill, or follow the parents anguish and hope and desperation to save their son, but this story deals with the subject with compassion and a real sense of believability.
Told entirely through the fathers eyes, We Own The Sky is a story that touched me deeply. I was thinking about this book constantly and when I read the final chapter I knew it would stay with me for a long time afterwards.
A really beautiful and heartbreaking story about love, grief, family, hope and how far we would go to protect our loved ones.