The Comet Seekers



R Is N And Fran Ois First Meet In The Snowy White Expanse Of Antarctica And Everything ChangesWhile R Is N Grew Up In A Tiny Village In Ireland, Ablaze With A Passion For Science And The Skies And For All There Is To Discover About The World, Fran Ois Was Raised By His Beautiful Young Mother, Who Dreamt Of New Worlds But Was Unable To Turn Her Back On Her PastAs We Loop Back Through Their Lives, Glimpsing Each Of Them Only When A Comet Is Visible In The Skies Above, We See How Their Paths Cross As They Come Closer And Closer To This MomentTheirs Are Stories Filled With Love And Hope And Heartbreak, That Show How Strangers Can Be Connected And Ghosts Can Be Real, And The World Can Be As Lonely Or As Beautiful As The Comets ThemselvesThe Comet Seekers

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 She is represented by Cathryn Summerhayes of Curtis Brown.As a literary editor, Helen has worked as the managing director of Cargo Publishing and managing editor of Gutter, and she founded Wildland Literary Editors in 2012 Before that, Helen was a research physicist with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University.

[ PDF / Epub ] ☁ The Comet Seekers Author Helen Sedgwick – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • The Comet Seekers
  • Helen Sedgwick
  • English
  • 25 March 2019

10 thoughts on “The Comet Seekers

  1. says:

    Antarctica The first sunset of the year Darkness will increase 20 minutes a day R is n, an Irish astrophysicist, and Fran ois, 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 Antarctica The first sunset of the year Darkness will increase 20 minutes a day R is n, an Irish astrophysicist, and Fran ois, 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 geography to show how they found themselves and each other at this time in this forbidding but magical place at the end of the Earth Helen Sedgwick from her siteR is n always had her eyes on the sky Even as a child she would drag her closest friend, her cousin Liam, out at night to look at the heavens, in rural Ireland, particularly when there was a comet to be seen Liam is very much earth based, expecting to spend his life working his family s farm R is n always knew that she wanted to see the world, and study the worlds beyond The tension in R is n s relationship with Liam is as palpable as their deep love for each other They talk about their respective worlds, the earth and the sky, the ground under his feet and the planets over her head.Comet West from LearnAstronomyHQ.comFran ois was an only child, raised in the Normandy town of Bayeux, seven miles from the English Channel, home to the world famous Bayeux Tapestry, buton that later It is Fran ois mother, Severine, we follow on most of the track back of Fran ois journey Severine is an unusual sort Faulkner may have famously noted that The past is never dead It s not even the past Maybe this istrue for some than for others After her grandmother passed away, Severine began receiving frequent visits from her relatives, herumlate relatives She had hud her beloved grandmother when she had seen her, frequently, talking to people no one else could see, and who Severine presumed were not there Turns out, she has inherited her Granny s ability, and becomes hostess to frequent visitations Muchgarden party than spook house, as she gets to meet, in addition to beloved Granny, ancestors from ages past There is one, though, whose ghostliness is decidedly ghastly Brigitte haunts Severine in ausual way, with displays of the horror that had ended her life The mystery of this ghost, and why she remains, herself, haunted, is a large motivator for Severine Comet McNaught from LearnAstronomyHQ.comFran ois, as had been true for his mother before him when she was young, does not see the ghosts He thinks his mother is mad, and is mortified when she chats with the unseen while any other living souls are present But they remained close, despite her oddity, and his disbelief But Severine contributedto her son than a store of discomfiting tales It is the cooking she does with him that leads him to a life in fine cuisine And she passes on to Fran ois her passion for exploring the world, however homeward she may have turned her own adventure Donati s Comet from WikimediaA central notion of The Comet Seekers is that not only are there ghosts, but these spirits are most visible when there is a comet in the sky Like hand crank radios, comets seem to provide temporary power to spirits, enabling them to visit their earth bound descendants, at least the ones with the capacity to see Once the comet fades from sight, so do the visitorsHer granny says the ghosts will only stay for as long as she can see it in the sky The brighter it is, thethey have to say. And there are other conditions The ghosts are somehow rooted to an earthly location Yes, they can make the odd visit elsewhere, but the cost in battery power is considerable If you want to hang with the haunts you really have to stay close to home You have to want to see the visitors in order to get to see them, and you must have lost someone Comet Hyakatuke from the University of OregonThe spirit power issue embodies the home heart, stay wander conflict for Severine For Fran ois, while he is not in on the ghostly vision thing, he is very attached to Severine, which keeps him from wandering too much, even though Maman encourages him to see the world For R is n, the attachment is Liam, As a young man, he wanted to be just like his father It is heartbreaking, he thinks, the things people believe they want when they are young. but the pull of her curiosity is so overpowering that she breaks out of the gravity of home and sees as much of the world, and the universe, as she can When she walks across the field she opens her arms wide and imagines a world so big, so full of people, she would never tire of exploring it, her eyes fixed on the sky above until she slips on some sheep droppings, only just managing to catch her fall Liam s always telling her the ground is just as important as the sky The book is organized around the arrival of major comets Each chapter includes the name of the comet and the year in which it appeared, from contemporary, well, a little ahead of when this was posted, 2017 to medieval 1066 times Each chapter is populated by ancestors The selection of Bayeux as a base location is no coincidence The Bayeux Tapestry on display in Bayeux, but most likely made in England , an impressively lengthy work of art, at over two hundred twenty feet by a foot and a half tall, not only tells the historical tale of events leading up to the Norman Conquest and ending with the Battle of Hastings, it is also the first reference in human history to Halley s Comet, which appeared in 1066 Sedgwick weaves the tapestry into her tale, shows us a bit of it s making, and it s display in a local museum She uses images from the tapestry as inspiration for elements of her story A small piece of the tapestry, with Halley s comet from Britain s Reading museumAt first blush one might make the mistake of thinking this is a romance I did not react to it as such Sure, there are certainly romantic elements in the connection of this person to that, and that one to another, but The Comet Seekers has it s eyes cast upward on grander visions There is a certain force we experience with people and places, an attraction, a pull, a connection, however invisible it might be, and so we circle, maybe connect, possibly even crash, even if, in the case of things like comets, or hearts, the ovoid route may be a particularly long one In a way, one might see R is n Liam and Fran ois Severine as two binary star systems, locked in a gravitational dance with each other, whatever the physical distance there may be between In addition to the draw of home, there is much tugging between the past and present, the attraction of and even need for adventure vs the gravity of warmth and home, the appeal of the wide open universe vs the draw of terra firma.Comet Hale Bopp from WikimediaThe plot line may involve connecting R is n and Fran ois, who encounter each other like two heavenly bodies with intersecting orbits, but that is a mechanism, not the essence There is so much going on here it could fill a planetarium dome But it would all result in a gray cloudy view if the characters Sedgwick created did not have some starlight in them I found things I could relate to in a range of characters, male and female Yearning knows no gender Feeling stuck is neither male nor female Having to make excruciating choices is a human condition not a male or female one, as are joy and disappointment Losing loved ones hurts on both sides of the gender fence There are tears to be found here Keep those tissues at the ready But there is joy as well, in the humanity of Sedgwick s characters, the daring of her approach, and the magic she has dreamt up to illuminate her tale The Comet Seekers is a masterful and brilliant book, smart, emotionally engaging and wholly entertaining, a celebration not only of our capacity for connection to each other but of taking strength, hope and inspiration from the connections we have to our past This is a book that is sure to blaze a bright trail across the publishing universe, one you will not want to miss The Comet Seekers is nothing less than heaven on earth.Publication 10 11 16Review 5 13 16 EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal, Twitter and FB pagesThere is a lovely short piece on Sedgwick s inspiration for a short story progenitor of this novel, on Kirsty Logan s blog The Comet Seekers gets a nice pat on the back in this piece in the NY Times October 30, 2016 Newly Released Books The animated Bayeux TapestryThe sound of a comet Yes, really, well, sort of Go ahead Check this out For all things Comet ish, check out this siteThe comet section of NASA s website is lovely as well I looked around for 2016 comets that might be visible to the naked eye Alas But if you have telescope technology there are some to be found

  2. says:

    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 Fran ois who share a connection that seems to be written in the stars or,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 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 Fran ois who share a connection that seems to be written in the stars or,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 visible in the sky, in 2017, with the final chapter returning to the same date Each chapter of the book presents glimpses from the lives of the two characters whenever a comet is visible in the skies During their existence, they both had a deep relationship with a special person and suffered loss The two lives intersect like the threads of a spiderweb and we discover connections between our heroes that emphasize the thought that they are destined for each other Oh, I should also mention that there are ghosts in the story, only visible to certain characters when a comet flies close to the Earth I do not want to say anything about them as I want you to read the book to find out When I started to read the novel I was expecting a beach read because the pages were flying I was on the beach so I had no problem with that, only that I ended up with tears in my eyes by page 20 Yes, it only took that long to care and to realize it is not the easy read that I thought I cannot define this book It is a love story, a ghost story, it also have bits and pieces of magical realism, it is a story about loss and about being stuck in a life that makes you unhappy , without the possibility to get out without hurting the ones you love It is a book about the power of family ties It is a book that revolves around comets and about having high aspirations It is many things and all amazing It is sad but also joyful, it makes you feel anguish and you can also feel comfortThe proof that ghosts are no better or worse off than the rest of the population they too need others to survive Thank to Helen Sedgwick, Random House UK Vintage, and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review

  3. says:

    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 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 forth , we see these characters in earlier years and also how they are connected to others at other points in time There are ghosts and a good dose of magical realism and I thought it an interesting story but I felt it to be a bit disjointed and contrived So what s it about For me it s about love and loss, a desire to know and be somewhere that gives somethingthan the place you are from versus wanting to stay in the place you are from It s notthan three stars from me, but I will definitely watch for what this author may write in the future because of the lovely prose I received this ARC from HarperCollins through Edelweiss

  4. says:

    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 filled1759 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 withthan children sometimes, when a comet flies through the sky, they see generations past and know that their family is tied to the skies and to their home and they are gladThe story centers on R is n and Fran ois, and their families those living and those who lived long ago R is n is from Ireland, an astrophysicist As a child, she shared her love of the sky with Liam, her best friend cousin but especially her love of comets R is n is attached to the sky, and Liam, tied to his father s farmThey lie on the grass and talk about the things that drunk people talk about at four in the morning past centuries and the vastness of the universe what makes true love true and whether or not the world is becoming a better place Fran ois is a chef from Bayeux, France, a town on the Aure River As an only child, he was tied to his mother, Severine, and Severine was tied to her ghostsThings are different now , her granny says She will be the last Great Grandpa Paul Francois shakes his head It s not a disaster, he thinks,an inevitability The proof that ghosts are no better or worse off than the rest of the population they too need others to survive Everything in Severine s mind pulled her to other places and the adventures and travels she d yearned for in her youth, while everything in her heart tugged her home To her family of spirits ever hovering tween the afterlife and the here Tied to Bayeux, where her ghosts remain attached unable to wander freely or for long, still tied to homeSo much company, she thinks What a beautiful thing, to have all this familyI loved this story despite the frequent change of timelines, which is usually a negative for me There are multiple years that bounce back and forth, typically a bit harder to connect to the characters for me That wasn t true in this story but I was feeling my own family spirits around me as I read a great deal of this story on what would have been my mother s 91st birthday A love story about families, memories, all the things that bind us to this life and to the living even after we are but memories A dash of magical realism, lovely prose, wonderfully atmospheric settings and memorable characters add up to an unusual, lovely debut

  5. says:

    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 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 fall in book love.The Comet Seekers has a haunting, surreal quality to it, the prose poetic but highly immersive and the descriptive sense of it just sits with you long after you have finished it I read it in pretty much one sitting so caught up was I in the lives of these people, their world and experience, holding it all together in heavenly yes style is the night sky in all its glory this is a journey inthan one sense of the word.I adored how Helen Sedgwick made the connections, sent the threads up and around and through the narrative like a spider spinning a web on a dewy morning pitch perfect to keep you involved and attached to the story unfolding.Really really lovely A lovely book one that you will return to again and again just to find the things you have missed.Highly Recommended

  6. says:

    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 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 have loved a lotscience and fewer ghosts I can get my head around sciency matters, even though I m illiterate when it comes to astronomy not a subject that ever interested me , but ghosts and other such supernatural beings don t do it for me.The narrator of this book did a great job, so I can t blame my lack of enthusiasm on the audiobook.So this gets an indulgent 3 stars

  7. says:

    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 emotionalSlow, 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 personalI loved this book toUpdating 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 emotionalSlow, 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 personalI loved this book to bitsConsidering I got it on NetGalley for free, it makes me eventhankful and happy that I got the chance to review it Such a gift Especially at the end of the year, somehow The comets, the snow The memories if the images don t load, you can read this post on my blog This book tells the story of several people the main characters R is n, who is trying to cope with the loss of someone very dear to her, and Fran ois, who is trying to come to terms with the fact that his mother is seeing ghosts something he understands as mental illness as well as the fact that she prioritizes the ghosts over him The secondary characters are Liam, the one R is n lost, and Severine Fran ois motherAnd then there are all the ghosts Yes, they re real in the storyAbout the only one who doesn t understand that is Fran ois The ghosts basically suffer from the dilemma of a tree falling down in the forest and nobody being there to see it the ghosts are afraid of being gone when there s no one left to see them any Some of them still deal with the loss and pain they ve suffered in their own lives long, long ago Severine wants to help them deal with it, but she s got her hands full with her own life alreadyAnd the cometsThey are an integral part of the story tooThey are the passion that drives R is n to become a scientist, to travel, and ultimately choose to pursue her dreams instead of sacrificing them for loveIt s also the phenomenon that marks the times the ghosts come back to visit It s what will brings R is n and Fran ois, as well as their families, together in the endThis is a great book on family history, loss and loneliness, being different and trying to find your place in lifeFor me, it had everything a book should have Which is why I m sad I can t write a better review for it I ve noticed this happensoften than not when you re dealing with great booksEither way I absolutely recommend itI thank Helen Sedgwick and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.Read Post On My Blog My Bookstagram Bookish Twitter

  8. says:

    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 muscles2 Thought about my librarian She s a meanie3 Fell asleep soon into the next chapter ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzI 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 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 muscles2 Thought about my librarian She s a meanie3 Fell asleep soon into the next chapter ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzI 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

  9. says:

    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 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 d have to read again, because there are so many layers. This book demands and deserves to be explored, again and again It can only getbeautiful I also must say that the style of writing didn t really hit me until the end That s when I really understood the beauty behind the words Every single line is so eloquent, well thought out, and thought provoking I mean guys This one is a beaut.I m not going to delve too far into the subject matter other than to say this book is really sad and really depressing and really freakin eye opening. It almost seems like I m saying, Don t read this book, it s super depressing and will make you sad nostalgic and all those feelings you try to avoid I m not saying that My point there, is that, it touches on an experience everyone has, or certainly will eventually have, at least once in their lifetime Losing people we love for one reason or another Making every day the best day Telling the people in our lives how we feel, precisely when we feel it This is a story about loss, butimportantly, it s a story about life Some of us will try to avoid it, some of us will try to embrace it, but no one can escape it.Read this book Do it now I m not trying to boss you aroundor am I , but I think you d be missing out on something really special if you didn t

  10. says:

    3.5 starsThe 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 3.5 starsThe 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 Antarctica are very descriptive, and I felt like I was being transported there She conveys the isolation, the darkness, and the ice and cold phenomenally well That was my favorite part of the book by far and the cover which is spectacular Thanks to BookBrowse for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review

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