And Clouds Passed Above

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Pub Date 01 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023

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In a tale of mystery, there's a choice that reaches to a past that's been missing for a boy who sees a world of faraway tales and present secrets. Until now as a young man, he finds a task set before him by the enigmatic figure of his grandfather. On a journey that leads away from his small village on a quiet fiord, to forgotten routes high among mountain passes and their towering cities, across ancient desert lands and the lingering echoes of lost kingdoms, to a city in the clouds and its riddle for a few who are drawn within. And to many other wonderful and desolate places until his destination is at last reached on a hidden and secret island, in the completion of his grandfather's request.  

Along this winding path he finds what things are within life – of fears and love, friendship and ambition, adventure and creativity, spirituality and darkness, sorrow and regret. And a choice, in a moment that comes to each. Reminiscent of a present-day fairytale, And Clouds Passed Above shares thematic similarities with magical realism and The Alchemist, 1Q84 and Life of Pi. Each place is part of a choice in how to spend a life, and whether something else may lie beyond. With a contemplative pace, at its heart is the way the world seems as a child, the way each moment and experience has a feeling and texture, magic and mystery, and wondering if this might stay each day, waiting to be rediscovered.

 (New revision/edition, September 2023)

In a tale of mystery, there's a choice that reaches to a past that's been missing for a boy who sees a world of faraway tales and present secrets. Until now as a young man, he finds a task set before...

A Note From the Publisher

Paperback copy also available. (ISBN: 979-8390420935)

Paperback copy also available. (ISBN: 979-8390420935)

Advance Praise

Beautifully, skillfully written.

Richly beautiful descriptions. Lively captivating suspense as it draws the reader into the mysteries, providing subtle clues and foreshadowing.

Stirs feelings of atmosphere, anticipation, apprehension, fear, powerful intensity, as well as offering warmth and gentleness along with thoughtful insights, intuitions and perceptions.

Brings the reader to consider how to spend one’s life, discovering what might be individually important, being open to what else unknown or changing might be possible.

A superb read!

-- Amazon reader (5 stars)

Reminiscent of Life of Pi

I wasn't sure this book would be for me as I expected it to be overly florid. But once I passed the forward I was sucked in by the authors masterful prose and ability to weave a compelling story that left you feeling as if you just woke from a dream. And while, yes, the prose is a shade of purple, it works with this in the same way that Life of Pi works. It's not terribly long and I ended up reading it in one sitting. 

-- NetGalley reviewer (5 stars) 

Beautifully, skillfully written.

Richly beautiful descriptions. Lively captivating suspense as it draws the reader into the mysteries, providing subtle clues and foreshadowing.

Stirs feelings of...

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Available Editions

ISBN 9780999088005
PRICE $4.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 29 members

Featured Reviews

Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!
Full review will be uploaded soon

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I actually loved this book. I love the magical aspects of his journey. Great prose. Anyone who enjoyed Life of Pi, or The Alchemist should enjoy this beautifully written book as well.

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Book Review: "And Clouds Passed Above" by Thomas Van der Hof

"And Clouds Passed Above" by Thomas Van der Hof is a captivating and introspective novel that takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Set against the backdrop of a changing world and personal challenges, the author skillfully weaves a tale that explores themes of identity, love, and the human spirit.

The story follows the protagonist (please provide the name if available) as they navigate through a series of life-altering events and unexpected encounters. Thomas Van der Hof's writing style is evocative and thought-provoking, delving into the depths of the human psyche and the complexities of relationships. The narrative unfolds in a way that keeps the reader engaged, eager to unravel the mysteries that lie within the pages.

One of the notable strengths of this novel is the well-developed characters. Each individual is imbued with depth, flaws, and aspirations, making them relatable and compelling. The author explores the nuances of human nature, portraying the internal struggles and growth of the characters with authenticity. Their interactions and relationships drive the story forward, adding layers of complexity and emotional resonance.

The descriptive prose in "And Clouds Passed Above" is vivid and immersive. Van der Hof's attention to detail paints a rich tapestry of the settings, whether it's the bustling city streets or the tranquil beauty of natural landscapes. The atmospheric descriptions create a palpable sense of place, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the world the author has created.

Throughout the novel, Van der Hof skillfully tackles universal themes that resonate with readers. The exploration of identity, the search for meaning, and the complexities of love are masterfully woven into the narrative. The story prompts readers to reflect on their own lives and contemplate the deeper questions of existence.

While the pacing of the novel may be slower at times, it allows for introspection and deeper character development. The author's prose is poetic and introspective, inviting readers to savor the moments and engage with the emotions that permeate the story.

"And Clouds Passed Above" is a beautifully crafted novel that offers a poignant exploration of the human experience. Thomas Van der Hof's writing is captivating, drawing readers into a world of introspection, emotion, and personal growth. Fans of literary fiction and character-driven narratives will find this book to be a rewarding read.

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And Clouds Passed above, a novel by Thomas Van der Hof, presents a challenging yet intriguing reading experience. At its core, it is an allegory that seemingly carries a profound message, but the journey to uncover its true meaning is shrouded in vagueness and ambiguity. Despite its elusive nature, the novel manages to captivate readers with its unique style and thought-provoking themes.

Set in a surreal and dreamlike world, the story follows a diverse cast of characters as they navigate a series of trials and tribulations. The protagonist, Jaan, represents the common human experience, embarks on a quest to mirror the challenges and choices we encounter in our own lives. Through the narrative, the metaphorical clouds that loom overhead serve as a recurring motif, perhaps symbolizing uncertainty, doubt, and the ever-changing nature of existence.

Van der Hof's writing style is both a blessing and a curse. The prose is poetic, with vivid imagery that can transport a reader into an ethereal landscape; however, this very beauty also contributes to the obscurity of the allegory. Metaphors and symbols are intricately woven throughout the narrative, but they remain enigmatic and open to multiple interpretations, leaving readers to grapple with an uncomfortable level of uncertaintly.

One might interpret the overarching message could be the inherent impermanence of life and the necessity of embracing uncertainty. The shifting clouds, representing the unpredictable nature of existence, might encourage readers to accept life's fluctuations and find beauty in embracing the unknown. Or the clouds could symbolize the burden of the past and regrets or the allure of future hopes and character journeys reflecting a person's struggle to come to terms with internal struggles.

While some readers may find enjoyment in this open-ended narrative, others might struggle with the lack of concrete direction and resolution. The abstract nature of the prose could leave readers feeling disconnected from the characters and their motivations, hindering emotional investment in the story.

Despite the challenges posed by the novel's vagueness, And Clouds Passed Above succeeds in its ability to prompt introspection and stimulate philosophical contemplation. It can urge readers to grapple with life's complexities and, in doing so, explore their own values, beliefs, and perceptions of reality.

In conclusion, Thomas Van der Hof's And Clouds Passed Above is a captivating allegorical journey that invites readers to ponder life's uncertainties and ambiguities. The poetic prose and symbolic motifs create a dream-like atmosphere that lingers in the mind long after the final page. While the elusive nature of the allegory may deter some readers seeking a more straightforward narrative, those willing to embrace the ambiguity will find a deeply personal and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience.

Thanks to Seraene Publishing via NetGalley for the advanced reader copy. Looking forward to my next great read.

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A beautiful tale of intriguing mystery and faraway places. The story was well written and quite picturesque in the mind. All round lovely story

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This isn’t my usual type of book but I couldn’t help but enjoy this read. This epic adventure and bountiful world has me enthralled and invested. I think the author paint a beautiful world and your left rooting for the mc.

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This was a fun and unique read. Very magical and mysterious. I highly recommend you check this out.

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I'm smitten with this book! The storyline is irresistible, and the characters are so well-crafted. It's a read that lingers in your thoughts. Highly suggested!

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Jaan receives a present on his birthday from his grandfather. It is an old compass with symbols on it. Some symbols he doesn’t know. He also gets a letter from his grandfather asking him to do something he could not fo himself. What is it? His uncles gives him some advice about the journey Jaan will be taking. On his journey many things are a surprise for him. Will he make the journey by himself and succeed with his grandfather’s request?

It is a lyrical, smooth writing novel. Jaan is an interesting character. His choices and decisions that he makes, does make one wonder while reading this novel is the best one to take. The novel reminded me a book I read I’m college. It is “The Hero’s Journey.” I was fascinated with this book even though I felt it was a little slow . I admit I don’t normally read this type of novel.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.

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