First blog post & The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley
Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Hello and welcome to my blog, my name is Kenneth and I am what you can call a dedicated reader and booklover, some would even say that I have a problem with the amount of books I own…..
So, one day I said to myself, I am making a book blog, mostly because I like to talk to other people about the books I read, the authors I like and the publishers who publish the books that I love. So, I am making this blog to satiate my need for rambling and ranting on this subject. And to spare the sanity of my friends and loved ones!
One thing I have learned when creating my own blog is: it is really, really hard making a blog! Like really hard! And for a while I think this blog will be under constant improvements and construction. But for now, here is the first post, and hopefully the first of many! And hopefully they will be somewhat readworthy.
So, let’s start! (feels like I am rambling on and on now) first I am going to write about one of the things I have been doing lately, namely reading all the 2019 Arthur c Clarke awards nominees, and reading them before the winner is announced.
Reason why I am doing this is simple, when I saw a list of the nominees I realized I had read one already and had two other on my to-read list, after short deliberation I decided I was going to read all the nominees before the 17 of July.
The first one of the six I read was “The Loosening Skin” by Aliya Whiteley, if you have read any of her books before you know what you are in for, thought provoking well written literary speculative fiction. That sounds like a mouthful to say, but the fact is her work is somewhat hard to pin down, some would say it is sci-fi, some would say horror and some would say literary fiction.
In “The Loosening Skin” we are treated to a world where people shed their skin every seven years and with their skin so goes their love and emotional connections to their romantic partners
The main protagonist in the book is former bodyguard Rose Allington, and she has a condition where she sheds more often than every seven years, she is contacted by her former lover and client the famous Max Black to find some of his missing old skins that have been stolen (In this world people do not cling to past connections and they get rid of their old skins, preferably by burning it. Whenever people touch an old discarded skin, they get impressions of the feelings and sensations that the wearer experienced)
The story jumps back and forth in time between chapters but does not lose the pacing at all. its beautifully written (as you would expect from the author). The characters are fully fleshed, believable and vulnerable. The only gripe I have with the book is that is too short, maybe its me being spoiled and demanding, but I would loved to have spend more time in the world that has been created, but I take what I can get, I guess I just have to reread it one day then.
The entire metaphor of shedding lost loves is left for discussions by brighter people than me. What I was thinking during it all was that the world would have changed from the beginning of humanity in this scenario, if we all shed our skins and with it our love with it, then a LOT of human history would have happened in different ways.
I can wholeheartedly recommend two of Aliya Whiteley`s other books The Arrival of Missives and The Beauty(both from Unsung stories), and also the tons of anthologies her work has featured in.
Notes on book:
Page number: 200
Publisher Unsung stories