Pages: 293 / Publishing: Vintage / Buy Here
In a flodded world, people either live on land or on ships. North is part of a circus crew. Her act in the show is a dance with her bear – the only family she has left. When she meets the Gracekeeper Callanish, their lives intertwine and suddenly, there seems to be more than just the decision between land and water.
The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan has been a constant favourite in the book blogging community since last summer. She wrote a magical story about loss and love and the things inbetween.
North led hear bear back to their boat. She would wash the colours off their skins, and they would be themselves again. Alone in their coracle, they were not performers, not burdens, not dangers, not weapons, not food. They were family.
When the world is mostly water, the few pieces of land become holy and everyone wants to secure him/herself a house on some kind of steady land. But not North. She dislikes the plan of her Circus Master, Red Gold. He wants to marry her to his son Ainsel and buy them a house. She dislikes it even more than Red Gold’s pregnant wife who thought the house would be for herself.
Callanish has no interest in such struggles. She lives on a piece of land and acts as a Gracekeeper by performing funeral rites for those who died at sea. But when she meets North, things from her past stirr up and their lives become suddenly intertwined.
With her poetic, flowing language Kirsty Logan creates a world far from other dystopic landspaces. It is a strange, hard world that the two women inhabit. But it also a magical world, full of dancing bears, glittering birds and mythical creatures.
I’ve seen everything you can imagine, and some things you can’t. I’ve seen a sunken city with a horse’s head head bigger than your house. I’ve seen an underwater bell hat chimes during storms.
Although I had some problems at the beginng to get into the story and the strange world, I immediately loved the atmosphere. It is a world full of contrasts; the circus boat and the graveyard, the sea and the land. The characters are so diverse and unique that I felt empathetic for them and their lives. After a few pages I couldn’t put it down again. Like so many other book bloggers and booktubers, I would highly recommend this book.