The Bone Clocks

If the "death of reading" is really on its way, David Mitchell's ambitious novels may offer a stay of execution. His writing spans genres, centuries, philosophies and continents--often all within the same story. Readers who treasure his Cloud Atlas will find themselves on familiar (which is to say, challenging) ground with The Bone Clocks.

Starting in 1984, Mitchell introduces Holly Sykes, a precocious teenager, common save for her unfortunate tendency to attract psychic phenomena, and a younger brother who brings new meaning to the phrase "old soul." When Holly runs away from home after butting heads with her mother, she manages to draw the attention of two powerful groups, both dangerous in their own ways. They're hoping to tap into her psychic abilities, and their reasons break down the boundaries between good and evil, right and wrong.

The story weaves in and out of different lives, spanning at least six decades, as everyone who knows Holly is pulled into a war of minds that addresses the problems of world geopolitics as much as the challenges of keeping family together across the years. Much of Mitchell's writing is characterized by links among his stories, and readers of his previous books will recognize a few familiar faces here. Improbably, delightfully, Mitchell creates new surprises and performs startling feats of literary derring-do that will leave readers once again shaking their heads, wondering how he does it and hoping he'll soon set to work on their next favorite book. --Matthew Tiffany, LCPC, writer for Condalmo and psychotherapist

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