Out in May, 'The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke' is truly stunning and one that already feels like it is a book of the year. The hugely talented Kirsty Applebaum has created another high-concept thriller that is bursting with vitality and emotion. Philosophical with nail-biting set-pieces, this is a book that encompasses all of life and death with all its raw power.
Lonny Quicke lives in the forest, far enough from the town, and with as little contact with other people as possible. Why? Because Lonny is a Lifeling. He has the power to heal living creatures and bring them back from death. But there is a price. Every time Lonny uses his power he ages - sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. So when he decides to venture to the town, he risks everything...
While this book has a startling high-stakes concept, it is Applebaum's pitch-perfect, pacy writing that makes this such a captivating read. It is all about the voice. Lonny's voice. There is something beautifully sad, raw and yet uplifting about his inner world - from the buzzing he experiences, to the pain of his life, to the hopes he holds, to the love he shows to others. It is mesmerising.
On top of this, Applebaum creates a believable and claustrophobic world, with its own history and legends which give the story depth and a continual sense of dread. Every character has a part to play - dialogue is rich, the characterisation superb (I loved the Grandpa upstairs!) Every action has a consequence. And there is always an underlying tension, as anything might threaten Lonny's existence. The ending is breathtaking, heartbreaking and completely unlike anything I have read - you won't forget it!
This is a book that will live with you for quite a while. And it's Applebaum's best book yet.
Get on and pre-order this. This is one of the books of 2021!
Thank you to Nosy Crow for my proof copy to review.