Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Book #58 The Rapture by Liz Jensen

The Rapture

Length Of Time In Possession : 1 year

The Rapture by Liz Jensen is the second of her novels I have read after the Ninth Life Of Louis Drax which I read two years ago and greatly enjoyed.

Set in a none too distant future, in The Rapture art therapist Gabrielle Fox is trying to have a fresh start following becoming paralysed in an accident. She takes a job at a psychiatric institution for disturbed children and patient Bethany Krall becomes her client. Bethany is already notorious, a child who murdered her own mother and Bethany also has visions, visions which she claims are of the coming rapture. 

The Rapture packs A LOT of themes into a short book : disability issues, including the sexual politics of disability, the horrific state of psychiatric care, particularly of children (I compared Bethany Krall and Louis Drax throughout) the climate change crisis & how much of that is man made, the events of the book made me consider fracking for example, and finally the rise of the religious right, probably more prevalent now in the USA than here, but having found a voice in the UK as per the parameters of this story.

I came to the Rapture from an interesting angle I suppose given that I am a wheelchair user. Though I cannot deny that some of Gabrielle's insecurities regarding her sexuality were very well drawn, I found myself irritated that as the scientists around her debated the end of the world she dwelt morosely upon whether she was still sexy, and took that out on innocent people she suspected of screwing her boyfriend. I felt like shaking her and saying "SO WHAT IF HE SHAGGED HER?! YOU'RE ALL ABOUT TO DIE YOU SILLY COW"

I suppose for one thing it did show honestly that even in big moments in life people do still focus upon their personal issues.

There was good characterisation, and I found it really easy to get into and keep reading, but it's fairly lightweight and a little bit silly, to be honest. It's not as good as Louis Drax but I would still definitely buy & read another Liz Jensen as she really does take on big, interesting ideas.

Verdict : 7/10

Destination : Charity Shop      


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