My book review of 'Light over Liskeard' by Louis de Bernières

by Louis de Bernières
Light over Liskeard
by Louis de Bernières

Quantum computers, civilisation in crisis, off grid living, extreme weather, and lynx and aurochs roaming free. It doesn't sound a cheery read, but I was completely swept up in this, the latest novel from the author of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'.

Quirky and whimsical in some ways, thought-provoking and challenging in others, with intriguing characters on Bodmin Moor. Loved it!

Q (or Arthur) has been working as a quantum cryptographer for the government but in so doing has realised how fragile our existence as a society has become. Computers are now so sophisticated that in the wrong hands, everything holding our lives together can be disrupted quickly, easily and catastrophically.

So Q retreats to Cornwall where he has created a simpler and safer life. He is making a ruined farmhouse habitable and trying to become self-sufficient.  

In this new life he meets a cast of eccentric characters who already live on the moors nearby - including the park ranger in charge of the reintroduced lynxes and aurochs that roam the area; a holy man waiting for the second coming on top of a nearby hill; an Arthurian knight on horseback; a young woman who runs everywhere and likes giving men 'make overs'; and the amorous ghost of an Edwardian woman who haunts the farmhouse.

The author plays with the concept of quantum physics where something can be more than one thing at the same time, issues of rewilding and 'back breeding', the countryside versus the city, and what we need to survive and thrive in life. It's a fabulous book and an entertaining read while raising some big issues. 

Date of this review: October 2023
Book publication date: 26th October 2023