The Comet SeekersPosted: July 5, 2017
The Comet Seekers: A Novel
by Helen Sedgwick
Kindle edition $1.99, Amazon hardcover $16.55
Harper (October 11, 2016), 306 pages
I thought that this book was a good deal when I saw it was a Book Riot sale book for $2.99. But as of this writing it is $1.99. Oh, well.
This is a story of interlinking lives across centuries. There is Róisín, who is a scientist fascinated with the study of comments. There is her cousin Liam who has inherited the family farm in Ireland. The two have been close since childhood. As adults they are, for a time, closer than they ought to be as cousins. Then there is François, who creates a career as a chef for himself. His mother, Severin, has conversations with ghosts, members of the family who have died and seem to have unfinished business. The ghosts only appear, however, when there is a comet in the sky.
In fact, each chapter is titled for a comet that appears in a specific year. The book opens and closes in 2017 with the flyby of Comet Giacobini. The story stretches as far back as 1066 with the appearance of Halley’s comet. Róisín and François meet in 2017 at an Antarctic research station where she is there to observe Giacobini and he is there to cook for the scientists and staff. In the years immediately preceding, François is concerned that his mother is mentally ill and gives no credence to the idea of ghosts. At one point we are given a hint that maybe he is correct about his mother’s mental illness.
I don’t think I am giving too much away, however, when I say that at the end of the book the author suggests perhaps Severin was not crazy and the ghosts really were visiting her.
But read the book. Decide for yourself. At the current Kindle price it is more than worth it.