Nelson, Jandy: I'll Give you the Sun.
I'll Give you the Sun
Walker, 2015, pp416, 7.99[pounds sterling]
978 1 4063 2649 9
Artistically gifted twins Jude and Noah were once inseparable, but now barely communicate following two traumatic events, the death of their mother in a car accident and Jude gaining the place at Art College that Noah, with his mother's encouragement, considered his. The dramatic rift between the twins is mirrored in the dual perspective narration, split between the voices of the 13-year-old Noah and the 16-yearold Jude. This narrative device takes a while to get used to but becomes increasingly effective as the two viewpoints show different slants on key events and characters and throw light on the complex and powerful connection between the siblings.
The book explores the vivid inner lives and artistic creativity of the twins as well as their burgeoning sexuality as Noah begins a tentative gay relationship and Jude's connection with a fellow art student gradually begins to erase her memories of a bad early sexual experience.
This is a complex and emotional novel written in heightened, visual language. It has many intertwined themes, art, love, jealousy, loss, betrayal, guilt and reconciliation. The dual narration, from different voices and times, gradually reveals more and more of the interlocking plot and of past family mysteries and secrets. These revelations, particularly about their parents' relationships, mean that the twins are finally honest with themselves and with each other and learn that life is complicated and that blame can be shared.
This tense, moving and vivid Y.A. novel should appeal to older teenage readers who love to immerse themselves in character, language, art and emotion.