STARRED REVIEW
April 2018

A poignant, heartfelt debut

By Luke Allnutt
Review by

Everything changes in a couple’s life when they go from being “just us” to “we three.” Rob meets Anna at Cambridge; love and marriage ensue; and then there’s Jack. Winsome, beautiful Jack loves tall buildings, taking pictures with his very own camera and eating special cheese on toast. He is adored by his parents, who are in awe of him—after all, it was so hard to conceive.

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Everything changes in a couple’s life when they go from being “just us” to “we three.” Rob meets Anna at Cambridge; love and marriage ensue; and then there’s Jack. Winsome, beautiful Jack loves tall buildings, taking pictures with his very own camera and eating special cheese on toast. He is adored by his parents, who are in awe of him—after all, it was so hard to conceive.

In We Own the Sky, first-time novelist Luke Allnutt creates an arresting intimacy between this family of three. The center around which Rob and Anna now spin is Jack. Work and friends and all the rest that used to define their lives fade to the background, especially after 5-year-old Jack’s stumbles and fainting spells lead to an upending, devastating diagnosis.

From that moment, their lives are thrust into a world of hospital visits and online support forums, where Rob and Anna seek advice from parents who have been down this road before. In time, Rob and Anna start to approach Jack’s illness with very different attitudes, and the divide begins to crack them apart.

Funny, heartfelt and honest, We Own the Sky is hard to put down but equally difficult to pick back up. Allnutt excels at capturing the full range of emotion and how a single moment can crystallize your whole life—dividing it into “important” and “not important,” before and after.

When a softhearted taxi driver won’t accept Rob’s payment for their ride after yet another doctor’s visit, Allnutt writes, “Sometimes love comes from the strangest places. People don’t realize how much they can break your heart.” In writing We Own the Sky, Allnutt proves that sometimes authors don’t know their heartbreaking power either.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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We Own the Sky

We Own the Sky

By Luke Allnutt
Park Row
ISBN 9780778314738

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