Summary and book reviews of We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt

We Own the Sky

by Luke Allnutt

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt X
We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2018, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2019, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

A triumphant story about love, loss and finding hope - against all odds.

"We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves."

Rob Coates feels like he's won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob's world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

CHAPTER TWO

In the morning, it is cold but sunny, and I walk down from the parking lot, past the Magic Merlin gift shop and the sandwich boards advertising King Arthur tours and two-for-one cream teas. With my equipment strapped to my back, I head down into an earthy hollow and then cross a small rocky walkway that connects the mainland to the island. To my right, there is a sloping baize of grass that leads down to the cliff edge, bro¬ken up with rabbit holes and occasional patches of sand.

I didn't sleep at Charlie's. She stirred as I was leaving, and I could imagine her, one eye open, pretending to be asleep, waiting for the click of the latch. The guesthouse was only a few doors down. It was strange to be sleeping in a hotel when I lived close by, but I wanted to be able to drink without having to worry about driving home.

I clamber up the rocky path, my head pounding, the taste of Red Bull still on my breath. Moving slowly as the incline sharpens, I climb the ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Not surprisingly, We Own the Sky is by no means a happy novel and will be difficult reading especially for parents. It continues to be part of my consciousness and left me feeling if not happy, at least hopeful and enriched. I recommend it to those who enjoy truly well-written fiction, regardless of the subject.   (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Full Review (460 words).

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Media Reviews

Grazia (UK)
[E]choes of David Mitchell, Jodi Picoult, and John Green.

The Sun (UK)
[A] beautiful, hugely emotional story. And while you'll definitely need tissues, it's the feeling of hope that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Sunday Mirror (UK)
Prepare to have your heart wrenched by this emotion-drenched story.

The People (UK)
There is a raw authenticity to this stunning novel.

Kirkus Reviews
Undeniably well-meaning but too circumspect in its approach.

Booklist
British first-novelist Allnutt plunges the reader into narrator Rob's experience of searing loss and the attendant denial, fear, anger, guilt, blame, and grief.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. [T]ender and raw, spun in pragmatic prose as personal as a friend's heartfelt admissions, with turns as unexpected as life itself.

Library Journal
Starred Review. Readers who enjoy highly emotional journeys will appreciate this vivid and heart-twisting debut.

Author Blurb Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus
A breathtaking read that describes perfectly the joy and pain that comes with loving fully and all the compassion and forgiveness it requires. Brimming with hope to the very end.

Author Blurb Jill Mansell, Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Anyone who wishes David Nicholls would write faster needs to grab this with both hands. It's a truly stunning achievement.

Author Blurb Katie May, The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club
This book will break your heart, but repair it too. Luke Allnutt's writing is full of compassion. It made me hold my loved ones a little bit closer.

Author Blurb Lucy Diamond, author of The Secrets of Happiness
Deeply affecting. A beautiful, remarkable book.

Author Blurb Rachael Lucas, author of The State of Grace
Utterly beautiful, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting.

Author Blurb Clare Swatman, author of Before You Go
This book brims over with empathy. Rob and Anna's crippling grief is utterly heartbreaking to read. It's at times a difficult read, but I finished it with tears running down my face. This is a book that will get under your skin and stay in your mind for a long time. Beautiful and irresistible.

Author Blurb Isabel Ashdown, author of Little Sister
Both movingly tender and unflinchingly honest, We Own the Sky is story that will stay with me.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Brain Cancer in Childhood

In Luke Allnutt's novel, We Own the Sky, five-year-old Jack Coates is diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor.

According to the American Cancer Society, brain tumors are "masses of abnormal cells in the brain or spinal cord that have grown out of control." The American Brain Tumor Association estimates that 4,600 children and adolescents are diagnosed with the disease each year. They cite a 2016 study that found cancer of the brain is the most common kind occurring in those younger than 15 and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in that age group. Even benign brain masses can grow and kill off tissue, impacting an individual's ability to function.

Although about 75% of children with brain cancer survive more than five years ...

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