Author: Naomi Williams
Published: October 22nd 2015 by Little, Brown UK
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: An epic voyage, undertaken with the grandest of ambitions.
When Lapérouse leaves France in the Spring of 1785 with two ships under his command, he knows that he sails with the full backing of the French government. This is to be a voyage of scientific and geographical discovery - but every person on board has their own hopes, ambitions and dreams.
As the ships move across vast distances in their journey of nearly four years, the different characters step forward and invite us into their world. From the remote Alaskan bay where a dreadful tragedy unfolds, to the wild journey Barthélemy de Lessups undertakes from the far east of Russia to St Petersburg, the reader sees the emotional, physical and mental toll exacted by such an endeavour.
Landfalls marks the launch of a brilliant new writer, who creates an unforgettable world through a web of voices and narratives.
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: Landfalls is completely different to anything else I have ever read. The story is based in a real event, the expedition that captain Lapérouse started in 1785 to discover the new world. Following Captain's Cook successful expedition, the French government also wanted to claim a part of the new world for themselves, so they sent two fragatas on a long and dangerous adventure around the globe.
But what makes this story so different is not its historic content but they way it's told. Each chapter is told by a different character, mainly members of the crew, but also from some of the natives they encounter in the new continent. Each character talks about a stop in the journey, every landfall (here you get why the title fits the story so well). They tell their own story and how certain circumstances affected them. This made the story a bit confusing to follow at the beginning as you were left wondering what had happened to the characters after their chapters, but once I got used to it, I started enjoying discovering a new place through new eyes each time.
I have to admit that I have always enjoyed history. So I found this story really enriching and interesting. It made me think a lot about how different the world was only 300 years ago. To think that there were so many places with its people living peacefully unaware of what was coming and how the Europeans thought their ways were obviously better and needed to teach them to the natives in these places. Well, maybe not so different to nowadays, now that I think of it.
Landfalls is a story that gets better and better the more you read. I started it feeling a bit lost and ended it completely hooked. The multiple points of views added a multidimensional vision to this journey and made for a highly entertaining read. Perfect for history lovers, Landfalls is a story worth reading.