An epic voyage, undertaken with the grandest of ambitions.
When Lapérouse leaves France in the Spring of 1785 with two ships under his command, he knows that he sails with the full backing of the French government. This is to be a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery - but every person on board has their own hopes, ambitions and dreams.
As the ships move across vast distances in their journey of nearly four years, the different characters step forward and invite us into their world. From the remote Alaskan bay where a dreadful tragedy unfolds, to the wild journey Barthélemy de Lessups undertakes from the far east of Russia to St Petersburg, the reader sees the emotional, physical and mental toll exacted by such an endeavour.
‘Landfalls’ marks the launch of a brilliant new writer, who creates an unforgettable world through a web of voices and narratives.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email with the question if I would be interested in reading ‘Landfalls’ by Naomi Williams. The subject of this email was.. The launch of a brilliant and distinctive new writer.. And this of course sparked my reading-addict heart immediately. Although this is yet again a book I wouldn’t normally pick up if I hadn’t read the reviews or heard about how good it was through the Little Brown Book Group, I decided I really needed to give this one a try.
In ‘Landfalls’ we go back to 1785 at the time of the historical La Pérouse expedition, a voyage were many men went out to sea to explore unknown parts of the world. ‘Landfalls’ is a book filled with twelve chapters written from a different point of view and from different parts of the world.
The beginning of this book was a little hard for me. I had a little trouble getting used to the world back in the 18th century and because of that I really needed a view chapters to get used to the scene. But slowly on I felt myself being enchanted by this book. I must admit I hadn’t heard about the La Pérouse expedition, before starting this book. So this book was a really fun look back into the history of the 18th century for me. Although this isn’t a teaching book, I really felt a little smarter after reading it. LOL.
Naomi Williams definitely has a gift with words. I loved the way every chapter was written through the eyes of a different character. I’ve never read a book that was written this way before, and although it was really interesting to read I don’t think many authors can pull this off. This way of writing can easily make the readers lose their way but Naomi Williams was able to make this book even more interesting because of it.
This book was fascinating, really touching, but at times also really funny. Definitely a read which had a little of everything.
I’m so glad I was able to read ‘Landfalls’. Especially since I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up myself and I would have missed this beautiful written novel. Every page of this book makes you feel the way the author put a lot of time and effort in this book.. Although I’m still not a big Historical Fiction fan, I loved reading this book and would really recommend it.
Praise for 'Landfalls':
About the Author:
Naomi J. Williams was born in Japan and spoke no English until she was nearly six years old. Her short stories have appeared in journals such as A Public Space, One Story, American Short Stories, the Southern Review, and the Gettysburg Review. In 2009, she received a Pushcart Prize. She lives in northern California with her family. Landfalls is her first book.
For more information about Naomi J. Williams please visit her website, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. And sign up for her newsletter.
I received this book in exchange for my honest review from the Little, Brown Book Group.