Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby
Calling the Gods by Jack Lasenby. Pub. HarperCollins, 2011.
“Story is our way of understanding ourselves and explaining the bewildering world around us”. Jack Lasenby wrote this quote and it is the gist of this novel. He previously wrote the excellent Because we were the Travellers quartet and this novel sees him back to the darker style of his writing.
Selene is driven unjustly out of her town of Hornish and escapes by sea hoping her boy friend and younger brothers and sisters will follower her. The Hornish community she leaves behind self destructs by internal squabbles and becomes cannon fodder for a stronger town from the south.
Selene returns for her younger brothers and collects five other survivors from her ransacked village. They decide to return to their place of origin to the North which they had heard of from stories told by their elders in better times.
Sailing North in two boats they establish a community in what they suspect is their old homeland and collect a number of other survivors around them. Selene is a brilliant leader and those that follow her, all young, work together for the common good. It is a handbook on how to survive and Jack Lasenby’s knowledge of living off the land and sea is extraordinary.
But will it last? Then Jack Lasenby then introduces a timeslip scenario in which an old man sees the progress of the young community but they cannot see him. Is he in the past or the future? are the children in the past or the future? Is indeed the future found in the past? Deep stuff. Violence, jealousy and treachery are never far away. Compelling reading.
Brilliantly written in that easy flow style Jack lasenby is famous for. Definitely High school student in appeal and an excellent read.