I love these guardians of adventure at the entrance to the Helsinki train station.

How is everyone feeling now the year is slowly coming to a close? These last few weeks have felt even more hectic than usual, with end of year work and family demands. The arrival of summer heat has brought our weekend escapes to a temporary halt and I am desperately missing out regular escapes to the bush or the beach. Hopefully more camping soon. It has been a funny year, certainly interesting and on reflection life changing in many positive ways. We have learnt to slow down a bit and enjoy simple things close to home and that has been a a gift.

Do you ever choose a word for the year? I kind of chose the finnish word sisu for my word at the start of the year, in fact I chose it as my word for the decade. It seemed like such an empowering concept to aspire too. The Finnish concept of resilience and fortitude with a strong association with nature and simplicity that defines Finnish national character. I find a lot to admire in Finland and the nordic nations in general.

Given the way the year has turned out it seems to be a very fitting word really. We have all needed Sisu to meet the challenges of 2020, not that my life has been in anyway challenging compared to others. I have the privilege of employment and the luxury of a comfortable lifestyle, a secure home and supportive family. I live in a country where even though I don’t always like our political landscape, I appreciate the very real freedom we have, with a government that does at least step up when necessary to take responsibility for the safety of its citizens, (now if they could just show the same leadership and abandonment of self interest where the climate and environment are concerned I could be happy).

This is a bit of a rambling post I have not been doing anything terribly interesting, as a result I have fallen a little out of the habit of posting regularly but this is changing as of now!

A regular meme can help keep you updating a blog so with that in mind I will post this weeks #BookSnapSunday insta post. Reading is the one thing I am doing a bit of at the moment.

What a glorious read All our Shimmering skies was, a magical, celebratory, quest tale. Where Molly the gravediggers daughter teachers us that real treasure is all around us, if only we take the time to look:

“Listen, kid, are you gonna stop and gaze at every little creature you find among the trees?’ Gretta replies.

‘Just the ones worth gazing at.’ Molly beams then moves closer to the insect. ‘You ever wonder why things are the way they are, Greta? she whispers. ‘What if this feller was supposed to be right here on this leaf in this very moment? What if he was put here to remind you and me about something.’

‘Like what’ Greta asks.

‘Like how pretty it all really is,’ Molly replies. ‘Who decided that gold would be worth so much, anyway? I’d take this feller over a gold pebble any day of the week’. (p.177)

Dalton is a master storyteller and he creates a compelling epic tale of adventure and friendship. This is a book that is every bit as wonderful as it’s gorgeous cover suggests, perhaps a bit innocent and naive for our cynical times but a compelling, page turning read all the same. From the goodreads blurb:

The bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton returns with All Our Shimmering Skies – a glorious novel destined to become another Australian classic. Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain down, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger’s daughter, turns once again to the sky for guidance. She carries a stone heart inside a duffel bag next to the map that leads to Longcoat Bob, the deep-country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. By her side are the most unlikely travelling companions: Greta, a razor-tongued actress and Yukio, a fallen Japanese fighter pilot. Run, Molly, run, says the daytime sky. Run to the vine forests. Run to northern Australia’s wild and magical monsoon lands. Run to friendship. Run to love. Run. Because the graverobber’s coming, Molly, and the night-time sky is coming with him. So run, Molly, run.

All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger, of darkness and light, of bones and blue skies; a buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder; and a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up. 

#BookSnapSunday is a weekly bookish Instagram meme hosted here at Gum trees and Galaxies.com, if you would like to join in please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments below. All you have to do is post an image of a book. Happy reading!

2 thoughts on “Sisu and Shimmering skies

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