The White Rock
From the bestselling author of Expectation
by Anna Hope
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Pub Date 25 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 25 Aug 2022
FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF EXPECTATION
'So bold and wild, but controlled and fierce. It reminded me of Cloud Atlas, but it's very much itself. Stunning' Russell T. Davies, writer of It's A Sin
Here it was that the ships sailed to San Francisco and further north.
Here the Yoeme prisoners would have disembarked.
Here the singer may have stood.
Here she stands.
She should never have come.
The White Rock stands, ancient and sacred, off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Four people, across four centuries, each navigating ruptures to the world they know, are irresistibly drawn to it.
2020: A British writer travels with her husband to give thanks for the birth of their child.
1969: An American rock star runs from the law in the final act of his self-destruction.
1907: A Yoeme girl is torn from her homeland and taken by force to the coast.
1775: A Spanish naval officer prepares to set sail to continue the conquest of the Pacific coast.
As the White Rock bears witness to the truth that they are not the first to face days of reckoning, is there still a chance they might not be the last?
'Absolutely a story for our times, and a fiercely important one, too' Clover Stroud, author of The Red of my Blood
'I loved it . . . It is full of wisdom, intricate and emotional, and it will linger in my head for a long time' Dave Haslam, author of Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor
'Poetic, philosophical and wildly captivating... I swam in this book and didn't want to come up for air.'
Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals and Adults
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Average rating from 33 members
I really enjoyed this book that was set over mutliple decades. It was well written with a compelling storyline and well developed characters that I bacme really invested in. I couldn't put it down.
I don't think there's a more versatile author than Anna Hope writing today. The White Rock showcases the compassion and care for language I've loved in her other books but this is more ambitious in scale and unsettling than her previous books. It's not always a comfortable read but it's a powerful and necessary one.
This novel follows four stories linked by the white rock in Mexico, a natural phenomenon. The Piedra Blanca is a sacred site and is thought to be the first solid object on earth. Therefore, it is believed that the rock is the origin of all life, and there are annual pilgrimages to worship the stone.
The first story follows a woman, her young daughter, and her soon-to-be ex-husband who join a pilgrimage and travel to the rock during the beginning of the pandemic of 2020 to celebrate the young girl's life.
The second story follows a girl and her injured sister on a slave ship in 1907 that passes by the white rock on their way to a labor camp.
The third story follows a hard-partying rockstar in 1969 staying at a hotel near the white rock.
The fourth story follows the story of a Spanish Navy Lieutenant in 1775 and his team, who are tasked with setting sail from the white rock to create maps of the new world.
I read and enjoyed Expectation, but I thought this novel even better - and very different. Hope makes reading feel effortless, and I mean that in the best possible way. I enjoyed how all of the stories were connected to this sacred place and the exploration of themes of crisis, sacrifice, redemption, hope, new beginnings, and the end of the world.
I could have done without the Lieutenant's story altogether and would have liked to learn more about the story of the two sisters. I also would have appreciated a bit more history and translation. I found myself looking up quite a few terms, such as Yoeme (now I know they are native peoples of the Sonoran desert) and juntas (a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force).
I was drawn this book by the synopsis and it didn't let me down, The premise is so magnetic and I love how it's set over different time periods. A real compelling well written story
I was deeply moved by this book. Each generation drawn inexplicably to the calling of the White Rock.
Each story was very different but of their time. We have travelled back to the ‘Vietnam War in the 60s, and also to another century completely. We have visited the start of both the 20th and 21st centuries. Each story was fresh and new but all ultimately linked by the White Rock.
This book was refreshingly different and I loved it.
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