Nation – Terry Pratchett – 15.01.23

This is a lovely stand alone young adult novel by Terry Pratchett. Set in an alternate Victorian era, a young girl who by a strange quirk of fate turns out to be the daughter of the new king of England (a pandemic wipes out so many people that all the hundred plus closer in the line of succession than him are removed) is travelling by ship in a region which suffers a devastating tsunami and is shipwrecked alone on an island. Meanwhile, a young boy who had left the island to carry out a lone rite of passage on a neighbouring island returns to find his home ruined and the people of his village all killed by the flood.

The book follows them as they try to rebuild their lives with the other waifs and strays that turn up. It has some humour, but lots of meaty difficult issues are tackled in really intelligent and thoughtful ways – racism, sexism, colonialism, culture, religion, childbirth, bereavement and human character from all extremes from very bad to very good. How the choices people make form who they become and the relationships they build.

I think it is an amazingly good book, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Published by sarahrwray

I'm an erstwhile writer and forever reader and book reviewer.

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