Published February 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK
Hardcover 271 pages
I’m not sure I know what this book was supposed to be about. It was a mashup of many different traditional subgenres: mother abandonment, forbidden love, surly alcoholic father, sibling that has lost his way, money struggles, and racial differences. If handled correctly, this combination has the potential of being a beautiful book. Instead, Infinite Sky was confusing and unimpressive
On the inside of the dust jacket, at the top of the summary, is the bold, eye-catching question “Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill someone you love?” First off, I would like to answer no. It is probably not possible. But more importantly, it is unclear to me that the main character in this book, Iris, even fell in love. When gypsies set up camp on her farm property, much to her father’s disgust, she goes behind his back and strikes up a friendship with the new boy her age, Trick. While Trick is kind to her, has a crush on her, and presents her with an alternative to her dysfunctional family and irritating friends, Iris is 13 years old and they are not in love. Right off the bat, then, the whole premise is ridiculous.
There were parts of this book that I liked. Iris’s mission to reclaim her brother from his adolescent angst phase by coaxing him with childhood memories was moving and sweet. Her devotion to her parents despite their faults was also sweet. But ultimately the progression of events, and the characters themselves, were unrealistic and this left me bored. The issues that arose, and Iris’ response to them, were more fit for a lead character of about 16 or 17 and I had to keep reminding myself that she was only 13. Iris’ family is a mess, but in the kind of way that makes you think they are hopeless and she should cut and run. Her friend Matty is unhelpful at best, and downright destructive at worst. This book contained too much dysfunction and that wasn’t woven together well enough to make up a coherent story.
Genre: Family Drama
Keywords: Family, violence, fighting, dysfunction, England, gypsies
Best quote: “How can anyone do anything but love each other and be kind when at the end of it all, waiting quietly, sure as the dark at the end of the loveliest day, is only this?”