miércoles, 29 de octubre de 2014

The Ship

The world has become a place where survival is a miracle and freedom is virtually impossible. Nevertheless, in a nearly pre-apocalyptic London, Lalla Paul at last sees how her father’s project has come true.

The ship is the place where, for five hundred individuals, life will begin. Lalla's father, Michael Paul, has selected with tenacy all the people he thinks that deserve to be on board. At first they are just faces of loss, sadness and hunger. But the trip starts and these people will become members of a community and each person's past will no longer be relevant.

"The beginning of every tomorrow there would ever be". Such an eagerly awaited future begins thanks to Lalla's wisdom. Just about to cast off, she manages to avoid some unexpected legal obstacles, but her joyful expectations will not last. The ship must set sail when Lalla's mother is dying.

Lalla's mother's death sinks this sixteen-year-old girl into an exploration of her own grief. Apart from her adored mom, Lalla is going to miss the British Museum, with which are associated some of the most loving memories she has. It was the place where she was taught almost everything she knows.

But life must go on and laundry work will be good for Lalla's new days in the ship. Furthermore, she will not take long to find love. First love! Tom, a survivor of starvation and tragedy, will become her most important pillar and the reason for her reawakening back to life.

I like Lalla's reflexive side, even in an utter hopelessness and despair. I confess that I love when I spot literary devices that work well with the story and Antonia Honeywell has brilliantly displayed in The Ship most of the events using a good set of these resources.

An awkward aspect of this novel which truly causes some discomfort is the sort of sectlike moments lead by Lalla’s dad as the fascinating "creator" Michael Paul. Here we are some of the speeches to his community; or a striking session in the ballroom, where they all start drinking to the lost, the dead, the abandoned. Perhaps that’s not the kind of matters I feel comfortable with while reading. That's an author's achievement though.

What I like most in this book is the constant thinking and wondering about different things. Is it right to isolate the people from the outer world? That’s something you ask yourself as well. Is it correct trying to remove the memory of the past from our minds? Maybe that’s a way to develop a smaller society full of secrets.

However, and above all, you keep on asking yourself which is the real destination of the ship. Michael Paul says that the future is in the ship. "If it happened before the ship, then it didn’t happen at all. Life starts here!"