Oh wow. Nation by Terry Pratchett just launched itself into my list of favourite ever books. I adored this book. I was a bit wary of reading it, I'm not familiar with a lot of Pratchett's other works and am only a beginner to the Discworld series. But Nation really had everything to it. Wonderful characters, an engaging story, humour, sadness. It's sort of a coming-of-age story, there's a mini-romance. It's about questioning everything, and about faith and I can't imagine anyone not being utterly swept away by this book. Truly.
Nation is set in a world very similar to our own, on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Mau finds himself alone after a tidal wave wipes out his family and entire village. Together with Daphne, the only survivor of the Sweet Judy and a distant heir to the king, they must rebuild the Nation.
Terry Pratchett has a skill for writing incredible characters. Mau has such strength to him. The passages where he was preparing to bury the dead bodies of everyone he's ever known was heart-wrenching, and I'm tearing up a little even now, just thinking about it. Even though Mau's furious with the gods for what has happened, even though he believes he has no soul anymore, he works tirelessly, endlessly to protect and rebuild as more survivors find their way to the Nation. He and Daphne are always asking the hard questions, never settling for 'because', always seeking knowledge. And Daphne is wonderful. She's smart and strong and I love her transformation in the book away from what's 'proper.'
In such sublte ways, Nation is about what it means to grow up. It's about death and grief and the pursuit of knowledge. It's sort of about faith and colonialism and gender roles. There's also some humour to balance out out the heart-ache. There's a foul-talking parrot, some amusing footnotes about the animals inhabiting the island and some laugh-out-loud funny misunderstandings between Mau and Daphne before they are able to learn each other's languages.
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
things mean a lot
Adventures in Reading
nothing of importance
The Boston Bibliophile
Read for: 100+ reading challenge, YA reading challenge, Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge, Support your Local library.