The Comet Seekers – Helen Sedgewick

A tale of lives, past and present, that connect only when there is a comet in the sky.

The Comet Seekers, an imaginative and accomplished debut from Helen Sedgewick, effortlessly marries the ideas of soulmates and science. Roisin and Francois are on an expedition in the Antarctic. She’s an astronomer from Ireland, he’s a chef from France, and somehow, there’s a connection between them that is far deeper than ordinary attraction.

Their stories swerve and loop back and forth through history, through their families, through their lives, and tangentially intersect at certain points that always coincide with the presence of a comet. Both Roisin and Francois, who are looking for… something, choose to travel far from their homes, whilst their loved ones choose to remain. It’s inevitable that, somehow and sometime, their parallel lives will collide.

The Comet Seekers is a novel in which the ghosts of the past – literally, as far as Francois and his mother, Severine, are concerned – are never far from the present and, for Roisin, people in the present are equally haunting.

I loved the premise of this story, and Sedgewick is a beautiful and skilled writer. It’s not a just-before-bed quick read; not something you can slip in and out of. This is especially so at the beginning when the seemingly random and complex structure (with a large cast of characters in different settings) requires a bit of work on the reader’s part. But slowly, and in a satisfying way, it all comes together. There’s no distracting ‘plot twist you won’t see coming’,  you’re simply given all the pieces of the jigsaw , then you sit back with the whole picture is in front of you. And you realise it’s how the story has to be – it’s written in the stars (or the comets).

It’s said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; make an exception for this one. Each version is magical.

The Comet Seekers, by Helen Sedgewick, is currently availabe in hardback and eBook. The paperbook is due for release on 24th August 2017.

Published by Vintage.


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