Three children wake up in a basement room. They have been drugged and taken from their beds in the middle of the night. Now they are alone.
Where are their parents? Who can they trust? The family has been betrayed to the government and Salt Cottage, their home on a clifftop above the ocean, is no longer safe. Their mother′s scientific work has put them all in danger. To protect them, she must let them go. She must put her faith in an old family friend -- and in her children′s own resilience and courage.
Searing, provocative and unputdownable, THE BOOK OF RAPTURE is a novel of our time that′s every bit as passionate and driven as THE BRIDE STRIPPED BARE. It will compel, seduce and haunt you.
One of the first things I noticed about the Book of Rapture is that it is told in second person present tense, ie. "You watch your children bickering..."
It took me a couple of pages to get used to the style, but once I was in, it became like a strange sort of dream.
The story is a diary, told by the mother, who, like a guardian angel, watches over her children in this strange new environment without being able to act or change anything. The story jumps between the 'present' with the children in the locked room and the 'past' as the writer remembers things that brought them all to this point.
Every 'chapter' is short - no more than a few pages - and ends with a quotation relating to belief and religion. Most of them are from the Koran or the Bible, but a few come from more random sources - in one case, C. S. Lewis.
At first I thought the book was really weird. But as each small chunk finished, I thought 'why not just read the next bit - it's only another page' and before long I had finished.
It was a dream-like trip with no really solid form or location - like most diaries are I suppose. I mean who bothers reminding themselves where they are or what, exactly, they are doing. Not that this book needed solid form. It achieved what it set out to do - to move its reader emotionally and make them quesiton the nature of science and religion - all the more vivid through the experiences of those innocents caught in the middle.
I quickly came to love the three children and though I could not condone their mother's earlier ambition, I could empathise with her path to redemption.
I was left wondering what had actually happened, but I definitely got the point. This is the sort of book where you have to leave your 'head' behind and just feel.
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