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Part coming-of-age story, part wilderness survival epic. I found The Rising of the Son to be an exciting read that took me by surprise and made me think.
The prologue hints at something life-threatening having taken place. The tension was built, I was intrigued and so I read on. Told from multiple perspectives, Jonno and his dad, James, attempt to climb Mount Casharaqu without a guide. It doesn’t go quite to plan and they are put in a situation where they are struggling for survival and in need of rescue.
The Rising of the Son looks at themes of identity, grief, loss, acceptance, love, masculinity, tourism and growing up. Putting it all in a list that seems like a lot, but the use of different perspectives, from Jonno and James in Peru to Macie and Mum back home, taxi drivers and villagers help this book deliver on a number of different levels in a way that seems authentic. I like Jonno, I was endeared by his confusion and struggle to work out where he was in life and what it means to grow up and be a man. Throughout it seemed that everyone was looking for, or missing something. It would be a good read for fans of literary fiction as well as those interested in survival stories as it looked past the tension of a hiking expedition gone wrong to comment on the human condition.
I was intrigued by the “outside” perspectives of the airport worker, the taxi driver in Lemur, and the villagers. I think that the author effectively raises a valid point about the real impact of tourism and tourists, even in countries that rely on this industry. The author, Giles Dawnay has extensive experience working in the expedition travel industry and his knowledge from living and working alongside local people create a second side to this book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think deeply about how you travel. All this while also enjoying the story of the expedition. As an occasional and admittedly fairly ignorant tourist myself, I know these narratives will ensure that this multifaceted book will stay with me for many years to come.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Set in both urban and rural Peru, The Rising of the Son follows the main character Jonno, aged 17, as he his father James, a successful and hardworking surgeon, go on an independent expedition into the mountains together to climb Mount Casharaqu. Along the way it is an opportunity for James to retrace his own past having had had some powerful and formative experiences in Peru when he was a young man. While for Jonno there is exposure to new ways of living and thinking that brings him to question the accepted truths of his own identity and upbringing, not to mention dealing with his unexpected but blossoming relationship with Magdalena, the captivating daughter of the James' old friend Rodrigo. Whilst out in the mountains there is a potentially lethal accident and Jonno is then forced to leave his father and go find help in this alien, dangerous and unknown land. In order to survive both men are left with no choice but confront hard truths about themselves that force them to reconsider how they want to live, should both of them make it back alive. This coming of age book attempts to deal with themes of the father-son dynamic, what it means to be a man, life in a developing country, women’s rights, being an outsider, the problematic way in how we are perceived by others, what is personal truth and what does it ultimately mean to be successful.
Publication date: 08/10/2015
|Publication date:||8th October 2015|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Indie Books We Love, Sport, The Real World, Travel,|
|Categories:||Adventure, Family & relationships, Climbing & mountaineering, Personal & social issues: family issues (Children's / Teenage),|