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The Comet Seekers

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,140 ratings  ·  393 reviews
One Day meets The Time Traveler's Wife in this spellbinding, magical debut novel about love, loss, hope and heartbreak that shows us that for each of us, the world can be as lonely or as beautiful as the comets that illuminate the skies above us.

Róisín and François first meet in the snowy white expanse of Antarctica. And everything changes.

While Róisín grew up in a tiny vi
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published August 25th 2016 by Harvill Secker
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Will Byrnes
Antarctica. The first sunset of the year. Darkness will increase 20 minutes a day. Róisín, an Irish astrophysicist, and François, a French chef, both working at a research station, are becoming involved. They share a wanderlust and a deep attachment to people and places continents away, she to her beloved cousin, Liam, he to his unusual mother, Severine. But each feels a connection to the other that seems to have been written in the stars. The Comet Seekers traces their paths through time and ge ...more
Adina (taking a break from literary fiction)
The Comet Seeker is a marvelous, beautifully written, emotional debut. It seems to be very hard for me to write a review as this is a book which is hard to describe, it needs to be felt.

The Comet Seeker is the story of two people, Roisin and François who share a connection that seems to be written in the stars (or, more appropriately in comets). They meet for the first time in Antarctica where they both work, she as a researcher, he as a chef. The book starts with the day Comet Giacobini become
Angela M

This is a quiet introspective story and it's fascinating in many ways to learn about the comets. I was drawn immediately to Roisin, an Irish scientist in a research facility in Antarctica studying the comets and to Francois, the chef at the facility. I wanted to know how their relationship would develop and about their pasts and how they came to be where they are, both in the place and in their states of mind. Moving from time and place when comets occurred 2017, 1976, 1759 , 1066, back and fort

”1759 Halley’s Comet In Beaux, two sisters in lace dresses read to one another as their husbands play cards and drink cognac. The family home was once deserted, so the story goes, burned down to its stone foundations, but it was rescued by twin sisters, like them, and now it is filled with books and flowers and laughter. They read in the paper about the naming of a comet after an astronomer who did not live to see it arrive, but they are not saddened by this. They know that their house is filled
Liz Barnsley
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It was something a little different, beautifully written and absolutely engaging.

Following our characters and those that came before them over a thousand years, snapshots of life whenever a comet is visible in the skies, this is a gorgeous, imaginative premise that really hits you in the heart. To be fair it is actually really difficult to review because you don’t want to give away the pure magic of it but also you want to throw it at people and just say READ THIS you will fal
I am afraid The Comet Seekers and I were not a good match.

While I appreciated the lyrical writing, it wasn't enough to sustain my interest.

Things were moving slowly, the many characters from past and present confused me, especially in the beginning. I never felt engaged with the story, never really cared for any of the characters. This novel was too melancholy and too ponderous and it felt much longer than it was.

The ghosts drove me insane, as I never quite got their meaning. I personally would
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I applied a firm grip to this book the other night and said,
“Prepare to be torn in half.”

Three reasons why that didn’t happen:

1) I’m not strong enough

Even thinking about it hurt my muscles

2) Thought about my librarian

She's a meanie

3) Fell asleep soon into the next chapter


I love books too much to actually do that, but I don’t love every story in them. Was it that bad? Maybe. Truth is, the ending was kind of good. I just had to get through the first 300 pages.
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes deep, nostalgic stories
Updating this review in anticipation of The Growing Season. I will be publishing the review on Sep 1, and I absolutely loved it! So you should check it out too, once it comes out.

In short: The Comet Seekers is a wonderful book. I loved it.

Main feel: layered, nostalgic, deep and emotional. Slow, will focus on feelings, coping with them, family events, and not action or developments, will also jump around timelines. However, very magical, very warm and personal.

I loved this book to
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy book, Batman! This was painfully beautiful.

So, there are certain movies that are worth watching over and over again. You never feel like you can unfold all the layers and fully understand every aspect of it, so you keep watching those movies, and keep discovering something new that was hidden the times before. Every time you watch it again, you realize something that maybe you didn't know you realized before. This book was that for me. About one chapter in, and I knew this was something I'
Cindy Burnett
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

The Comet Seekers is beautifully written. I was so excited to read it based on the summary and other reviews I had read. Somehow, I just did not totally connect with the story. There are SO many characters that I found it hard to keep up with them all. I also just did not love the story line. Sedgwick’s prose is lyrical, and I truly enjoyed reading her writing so after several days of thinking about the book after I finished it, I decided to give it 3.5 stars.

Her descriptions of Antarc
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I enjoyed this story of comet seekers tracing through history to follow a family who communes with ghosts. I would call it a beach read except I froze while reading it! I would read this alongside Good Morning, Midnight.

I also learned about comets. I didn't know about Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter's role in devouring potentially dangerous comets from our solar system. There are some beautiful moments in this book, which I can't share with you because I had a review copy from the publisher.
Joy D
As the story opens, Róisín, an astronomer, and François, a chef, meet at a scientific base in Antarctica. The goal of the Antarctic project is to study comets. The narrative is episodic, coinciding appearances of various comets between the years 1066 and 2017. The episodes loop through history, forward and backward, across hundreds of years to provide these two protagonists’ backstories.

We meet Liam, Róisín’s cousin and first love, in Ireland, and Severine, François’s mother, in France. Liam is
Ryan Michael
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly incredible. I will admit I am prone to liking novels like this, that have a firm foundation based in people, emotions, and relationships, but with a piny dipped in the waters of the supernatural. But even with that said, "The Comet Seekers" kept pushing me further and further into a place (or more accurately, places and times) that push the boundaries on how I view like and the quick-moving time we are here on this planet.

I want to be the type of person that takes no one day
Renee Godding
"Sometimes two people and a wide expanse of snow and ice and rock can be a whole world."

What a wonderful book this was! Full review to come.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Comets have always captured the human imagination. In earlier times they were thought to be harbingers of doom but more recently they are seen as romantic wanders of the solar system or universe. Many comets, like the most famous, Halley's comet, have an elliptical orbit within our solar system appearing regularly and predictably (Halley's comet will next appear in our skies in 2061) while others have orbits that take hundreds or thousands of years.

In the comet-seekers Helen Sedgwick explores t
Suanne Laqueur
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ONE MILLION STARS AND COMETS. This is why I read. These are the books I live for. I read this on a flight from Heathrow to JFK and honestly forgot I was in a plane. Utterly transported somewhere else. A brilliant idea brilliantly executed. I highly HIGHLY recommend this, especially if you have a few unplugged hours to disappear.
Bob Brinkmeyer
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful--and I mean that in the best sense of the word--novel filled with surprising wonder, one dazzling moment after another. Clearly in part inspired by the Bayeux tapestry (and who wouldn't want to go see it after reading this book!), the novel, itself in a sense shaped as a tapestry, interweaves various plot lines, extending as far back as the Norman invasion. As you read, the intricate design of the novel begins to take shape, stories being connected and filled in. Structurall ...more
Asghar Abbas
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you know two people who are just on the verge of falling in love; hiding in that small space between mayhem and harmony, do them a favor and give them this book. That'll get the job done, it is very decisive that way.

This novel made me weep. Do yourself a favor too and read this as well. Be free.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Four stars for the incredible writing.
Two stars for the meandering plot and frustrating main characters.

First, the writing is gorgeous, especially when the author (a physicist) is describing space. For example, the creation of planets: "And the debris comes together, forming rocks and swirling angry gas, distant ice planets, and occasionally an ideally placed one, that is not too light and not too dark. But at the heart of it, she knows, there can be a stellar black hole where once there was a s
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
GoodReads review algebra.

"book X has a lot of great aspects such as Y and Z" + "however the A felt heavy-handed and B seemed under-developed" + "author W is young and shows a ton of promise" = "I look forward to the future endeavors of W that take the Y and Z of X to the next level and corrects for the the inconsistencies of A and B"

Rinse and repeat as necessary.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was beautifully written, almost ethereal, and the themes resonated powerfully with me. Unfortunately, it's also very sad. I don't usually like books that depress me, and The Comet Seekers loses a star for it. It's a testament to how exceptional it is that I didn't drop it to 3 stars (I really hate depressing books!) Even though it broke my heart, I have to say that I loved it, and it's really stuck with me.

Poignant, other-worldly, beautiful. I recommend it easily.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I knew I wasn't going to be a fan of this book as soon as I started reading it and discovered that the author didn't use quotation marks. That is one of my pet peeves; I find it pretentious. I got the sense that the author tried too hard with the lyricism and I felt duped by the synopsis, which made it seem like the book would be set mostly in Antarctica. Only the first and last chapters are set in Antarctica and the rest tells you the life stories of Róisín and François, the former I kind of li ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my my my, yes to the magic, the feelings, the comets, and pain. - "I couldn't live like that, too much was missing - one person can't be enough, can they? You need more. Everyone needs more." Reading this book was like being in landscape of relationships with a wonderful typography of emotions that felt so real. And to think it only took a few ghosts. ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best books defy description because they've already used all the right words. Anything I say will fall short. Evocative, ethereal, wrenchingly beautiful family relationships both distant and close. I stayed up very late reading this one. Couldn't put it down. ...more
The Captain
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! I wanted to read this book when I found out it had ghosts and dealt with the Bayeux Tapestry. I studied the tapestry in school. It portrays the battle of Hastings in 1066 and also shows Haley’s Comet which occurred that year. This book weaves multiple generations together in chapters that jump in time – 1066, 1759, 1976, and 2017.

What is the significance of those years? Well in those years comets appear in the skies. Any time a comet is in the sky, members of a certain fami
Amy | littledevonnook
This was an okay read, I wasn't blown away but still enjoyed the experience - don't think I would pick it up again though.

There are two stories interwoven in this book; one follows the lives of two cousins living in Ireland and the other part follows a family living in France. Both stories are connected by the fact that all of the people are keen watchers of comets. In the story of the cousins we see how they fall in love with each other and struggle with the implications of this, whilst the guy
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I started reading Helen Sedgwick’s The Comet Seekers on the long journey up to Glasgow. It has fast become one of my highly anticipated reads of the year, especially since scrolling through some of its Goodreads reviews. The premise was simple, yet very cleverly used, and all of the separate stories were carefully tied together to make a rich whole. Some of the occurrences - for example, Roisin and Francois living in the relatively small town of Bayeux at the same time - felt a little too conven ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For what seems like a small book this is an epic tale. Of the stars, comets, love, loss, life, ghosts and life’s complexities.
It’s about a love that’s predicted in the stars and how the lives of the lovers must flow and intersect until the time is right for them to meet.
It’s about being able to be your true self, unrestricted by pressure or social expectations. Being able to stand up, be brave, live the life you want and breaking through barriers to do so.
It really is a wonderful story and we
Michele Harrod
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while since a book contained so many sentences that gut-punched me, or left me breathless. That brought back longings so deep, and losses so painful, it was like having my heart excavated at times. Sometimes by a sentence describing a simple gesture. Other times by a character’s handling of a human emotion, such as grief, so perfectly rendered, every cell in my body ached. How can a book make me feel so bereft, and yet still so hopeful, all at once? So insignificant, yet so connected ...more
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
The Comet Seekers

📚 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀! I pick up this book because the description was very promising. Unfortunately, I found it hard to connect with 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁 𝗦𝗲𝗲𝗸𝗲𝗿𝘀 by Helen Sedgwick. The back and forth in time and the many characters brought confusion. I did, however, love the interactions between Severine and her ancestors and how the book ending closed the family mystery loop. The writing is beautiful and the information about all the comets was remarkably interesting. I also loved the connection to the Ba
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Helen Sedgwick is the author of The Comet Seekers (Harvill Secker, 2016) and The Growing Season (Harvill Secker, 2017).

Helen has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University and has won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Her debut novel has been published in seven countries including the UK, US and Canada, and was selected as one of the best books of 2016 by The Herald and Glamour.

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