Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
Thailand
  • Location: Exmoor, Finland, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, Serbia, The Outback

The Atlas of Us

The Atlas of Us

Why a Booktrail?

Late 1900s, 2004 to 2014  – This is a booktrail which takes you far and wide – to the stunning locations such as that as evoked on the cover to England, Australia, Dubai, San Francisco and even Serbia

  • ISBN: 978-0007579358
  • Genre: Fiction, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

Louise Fenton decides that she has to travel halfway across the world to the site of the 2004 Tsunami in order to find her mother Nora who was there when the disaster struck. She meets up with Jay a journalist who is looking for Claire, a friend who seems to be connected with Nora in some way. Louise is curious and wants to know more. What she discovers is far beyond whatever she can imagine.

What a journey in both the emotional and physical  sense of the world. There is the heartbreak of seeing the destruction of the Tsunami at first hand, the war torn parts of Serbia and the desolate and rather chilling backdrop of Exmoor.

But walking off the map is at the heart of this book – exploring, letting yourself go and discover things, opening up your mind and daring to dream and hope.

Locations

Reset

Travel Guide

A smorgasbord of exotic settings as one girl searches for the truth about the devastating Tsunami.

“When I close my eyes, the water comes: the violent thud of waves, the tar smell of salty dampness”

If you have ever been travelling, and know the feeling from switching locations, seeing one scene only to wish you could stay longer at one, pass through paradise but see the poverty which lies just beside the picture in the tourist guide, then these are the same feelings I got when reading this book. Paradise is not always beautiful,  scenes sometimes whizz past your eyes when you arrive in a place and the thrill of travelling to a new world.

Clare to many should the one used to this as being a travel journalist she has travelled and written about such locations but something her father said – learning to march off the map’ that has her thinking in a new way. The author, also a travel journalist, uses her traveller’s eye to notice the small and intricate detail that only a seasoned traveller can  – and the nuance and feel of the destinations and how the characters experience that are clearly seen through the eyes of a traveller.
This is not a travel journal however – the locations are as much of a character as anyone else and in particular the chapters on the Tsunami were difficult to read,heartbreaking realistic as they were drawn from personal memories of the author herself.
Like a travel scrapbook, this is a multi dual timeline story – dotting around in time and location which gives it a real travelling feel. As you turn the page, its as if a photo falls from the pages, a mangled ticket to somewhere which helps you put the clues on the page back together again.

And in the meantime, you have this Atlas of Us, which you’ve found early on in the novel and want to find out its meaning and where it might take you to.
As the stories of Claire and Louise’s search for her mother start to merge, the book arrives at its destination and what a thrilling ride across the world it has been.

Locations – San Francisco where she rents a room in San Francisco’s painted ladies, the multicoloured Edwardian houses that lined the city’s Haight-Asbury district
Iso-Syöte, Finland – She goes here to explore, taste new foods but really to explore the land disputes between the indigenous Sami people and the Finnish government.

Booktrailer Review

Clare:

What I love about this is the sheer range and far flung locations in the story that all have a relevance to the story of searching far and wide for the person that you love and for looking into the past hoping to discover what you can to make sense of who you are.

And a quote that sums up both the essence of what we love at The Booktrail and what we believe reading and travelling means –

They’d been there for her when she was a kid craving consistency too, curling out in a little nook somewhere, the characters she’d read about becoming her friends when she only had her family for company as they travelled from one place to the next.

Loved this book as it was a fantastic story as well as being  a great mystery spread out over so many luscious locations. The tragedy of the Tsunami at its heart, the key message to finding someone and never forgetting them stayed with me.

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