Mickie's Reviews > Life: An Exploded Diagram

Life by Mal Peet
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 19 to 27, 2011

People usually think of history as a stream, a confluence of actions that join and separate and tumble us to our conclusions, but a novel like this one confirms what I have always believed: history is more tectonic. The heat and pressure of a thousand lives before us and around us bend and mold and furrow us until we become something that we'd like to think we had a hand in, but is really the product of countless layers of sedimentary history. When the forces align just right, the plates explode with force and echoing energy until you can't recognize the landscape.

I didn't know until I read this book what a an exploded diagram was and it is fascinating to me how the novel pinpointed the pressure points of two peoples' histories and explored the ways that war brought them to each other and took them away each other, only to do it again decades into the future. I'll be thinking about this book for awhile...
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