Friday, September 27, 2019
The Lightest Object in the Universe
First sentence: Thirteen days into the second month of the year, the lights began to go out.
Premise/plot: The Lightest Object in the Universe is a post-apocalyptic romance novel starring Carson Waller and Beatrix Banks. When the darkness comes (which is after the deadly flu, by the way) Carson and Beatrix are lovers separated by a continent. He lives in New York; she lives in California. They’ve always used technology to communicate on a near daily basis. They visit one another via plane. Their love blossomed before...life as they knew it, as everyone knew it disappeared in a matter of days. Carson heads out on foot—following railway tracks—to California. Beatrix, meanwhile, has a tough choice to make. Should she stay put and work on turning her own community into a communal haven? Or should she follow the vague directions of her fellow roommates?! The chapters do not alternate narrators—for better or worse. Each chapter switches back and forth and back and forth. There are no design indicators to let readers—perhaps sleepy readers—know who is narrating.
My thoughts: This is a good example of an almost love for me. On the one hand, I enjoy post-apocalyptic novels; I enjoy dystopian novels. The community Beatrix becomes a part of seems utopian. The community (the Center) that both Carson and Beatrix are skeptical of is definitely dystopian. This has a light thread of romance which acts as hope. On the other hand, this stayed a premise driven novel. The characters remained a bit too distant for me. I wanted them to find each other again, I did. But I didn’t really feel a true connection with either. There was a potential for tension and suspense. But I never felt the life-and-death danger of this new world they were adjusting to.
I don’t regret my time. But I don’t see myself rereading this one.
© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews