We’re all Bone Clocks, you see, tick-tocking our way from one end of existence to the other. Except, if you’re a David Mitchell character, you could very well be tock-tocking your way next existence. And doing it for a long time. There is a war going on, you see, between immortal armies. The enemies–the horologists and the anchorites–have been dueling for centuries.
Poor Holly Sykes gets caught up in the war because one of the anchorites takes refuge in her head. All the horologists are after him, and Holly is part of the struggle whether she wants to be or not. Whether she knows it or not.
We pick up the story in 1984 when Holly’s just an ordinary rebellious teen-ager running away from her domineering mother. We follow Holly off and on all the way to 2043. In between we get involved with numerous characters, mortal and immortal. Somehow, during all this, Mitchell manages to keep us oriented enough in space and time that we don’t get completely lost in the jumble. Not only that, but he keeps us interested in every single one and fascinated by the whole process. We struggle a bit to understand who these immortals are and what they are fighting about, but its worth the struggle because the whole book is about mystery and discovery, in a way, and it’s all part of the process Mitchell’s taking us through.
This is one strong and super book by one of today’s top authors. I might even take on Cloud Atlas bow.