|Wow! Above by Isla Morley is amazing and phenomenal. I’ve never described a book as phenomenal before, but it really is the best word to describe this novel. You’ll be missing out on something incredible if you don’t read this story. Let me tell what it’s about:
Blythe is 16 years old when she is offered a lift home by librarian Dobbs. She accepts and he abducts her. Dobbs is convinced that the world is going to end and takes her to an underground missile silo. Below ground she shall live for years, have a child and eventually return Above ground. But will the world be as it was or how she imagines it to be? Above is Blythe’s story. If you think you’ve got an idea what’s going to happen – you really don’t.
Above is written from Blythe’s perspective and in present tense, which is excellent as it enables the reader to emotionally connect with her from the first page.
Blythe is a loveable character as is her son, Adam, who is born about midway through the book. Adam is wonderfully innocent, curious and stubborn. Traits that become clear when they finally escape the silo. All of the characters were well thought out and it was great to read their development throughout the story.
Above is perfectly paced and has a well plotted storyline. It was captivating and there were times I couldn’t put it down. It felt like an emotional roller coaster; every time something good would happen it was followed by something bad. I felt for Blythe who above ground discovers she has lost so much, but can’t give up or breakdown because of Adam.
The description is superb throughout with a Morley showing the story rather than telling it. There’s some particularly beautiful description, particularly when Blythe & Adam are above ground.
Above has been unfairly compared with Room by Emma Donoghue. Yes the idea starts similarly, but the telling and direction of Above are completely different. Above is darker, more beautiful and a somewhat sentimental read.
Above causes the reader to question and examine their own moral compass. It made me reconsider my perspectives on life and the world around me. Above is let down by a weak ending, one that left Marcus’ character at a loose end. However the reader can and does forgive Morley for this.
Above is an absolute must read and is available to buy on Amazon. Morley is such a fantastic storyteller that I will be buying Come Sunday, her first book and be keeping a close eye out for her next one.