Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Monday, October 11, 2021

Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

 Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 640

This is my 85th read for the year

This book spans three timelines and tells 5 stories.  In Constantinople in the 15th century where a young boy with a cleft lip and palate Omeir comes into the world and isn't expected to live.  Near by an orphan named Anna begs a local teacher to teach her to read.  On a hunt one night, she discovers a book- the story of Aethon who longs to be turned into a bird.

500 years later - in a small town of Idaho, the stories of Seymour and Zeno unfold.  Zeno - an octogenarian who has taught a group of children the story of Aethon - has come to the library in his small town to rehearse a play the children will be doing based on the book.  Tucked away in the shelves of the library is a bomb that has been placed there by a troubled Seymour.

Decades in the future - Konstance is on an interstellar ship called the Argos.  Earth has become uninhabitable, and the ship is carrying humans to their new home.  At the age of 14, Konstance - like all other kids on the ship before her - gains her "library day" and can now ask any question she has and the ship will give her the answer.  As she starts to delve deeper, she discovers a secret that will change everything.

Soon it becomes clear how these lives all intertwine:  The book and the story of Aethon.

This was a fantastic book.  I am a big fan of Anthony Doerr - All The Light We Cannot See remains one of my favorite books.  This one was just as fabulous.  It is a slow burn, and you do wonder for a bit how these stories are going to fit together.  Be patient because it is worth it.  As the story unfolds, and we see how the people fit together around a book and story that is over 1000 years old, the magic is revealed.  The writing is superb.  The ending pulls it all together  (with an epilogue - my favorite ending).

Highly recommend.

Stars: 5

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