Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 14th February 2013
Edition: UK hardcover, for review
When Iris’s mum leaves home, her brother, Sam, goes off the rails and her dad is left trying to hold it all together. So when a family of travellers sets up camp illegally in front of their farm, it’s the catalyst for a stand-off that can only end in disaster. But to Iris it’s an adventure. She secretly strikes up a friendship with the gypsy boy, Trick, and discovers that home cam be something as simple as a carved-out circle in a field full of corn...
CJ Flood’s debut is beautifully written just as I was promised: soft, poetic and thoughtful.
The entire novel oozes with a warm and dreamlike atmosphere of a beautiful English summer. The Derby farm that Iris and her family live on makes everything seem magical and hazy and Iris’s love and knowledge of nature only made the setting come even more alive. The arrival of Trick and his family of travellers in Iris’ paddock was almost romantic and gave the novel an overhanging sense of threat.
I expected a certain level of prejudice to be directed towards them but I wasn’t quite prepared for the lengths that people would go to: the rudeness, the jibes, the force. It was really interesting to see them from all angles and I was torn as to which side I fell down on. I completely understood the stance that they leave a huge mess, cause trouble and don’t pay their way but I also saw what Iris saw. She knew the travellers themselves and learnt that they didn’t seek out trouble and that it’s often others causing issues for them and that they’re really not doing any harm. It was a fascinating look at a different lifestyle and it’s one I’d love to learn more about.
The presence of Trick and his family and the conflict with their presence was obviously building up to something big and tragic which was hinted at on the back cover of the novel and it culminated in something sad and heart-breaking, but effortlessly understated. I have to admit that I expected the tragedy to go the other way – I was stunned when it didn't and it was horrible. Really, really horrible. It made me cry embarrassingly on the train back to uni.
Infinite Sky is a stunning debut and I think that CJ Flood is definitely one to watch. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for us next.
For my 2013 British Books Challenge, 2013 Debut Author Reading Challenge and 2013 YA Contemporary Reading Challenge
Thank you to S&S for sending me a copy for review.