As I read The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day, I realised yet again that Christopher Edge is a writer I want to look out for. The first book I read of his was probably Twelve Minutes to Midnight. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up buying two copies of it – one to keep and one to gift.
Somehow, the sequel, Shadows of the Silver Screen, did not make such a powerful impression on me. I liked it, but I can barely remember it now – in my defence, I read it five years ago.
Then, I read The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, which I loved. It was unlike anything I’d ever read before and I was drawn into Albie’s world – a world of science that has at its core not just human curiosity but something even more deep-rooted than that – love.
If I had read The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day immediately after, perhaps I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did, for the ideas and themes of Maisie Day and Albie Bright are similar.
Maisie is ‘academically gifted’, a scientific genius who tries to make sense of the universe by learning everything about it. She has a wonderful home tutor, Mrs Bradbury, who shows her how little humankind knows about the universe – less than 5%. This makes Maisie even more eager to learn more – about dark matter, Vantablack, black holes, singularities, Einstein’s theory of relativity, gravity … everything.
The problem is that all of this makes Maisie a freak. Her teen sister Lily seems to hate her; her parents never allow her to do anything alone; she does not even go to school, so she has no friends at all.
She wishes she could change this, but she simply cannot understand how to make Lily care for her again. On her tenth birthday, which ought to be the best day of her life, everything threatens to take a terrible turn. First of all, Lily steals everyone’s attention as usual. Yet, this is just the beginning of a day that changes Maisie’s life forever.
Through alternating chapters for alternative realities, Christopher Edge takes us to a frightening place where the universe begins to fold in on Maisie. Just like in Albie Bright, science and love come together in this beautiful book, as Maisie and Lily make sense of the world, demonstrating what makes us truly human.
|Title||The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day|
|Rating (out of 5)||4.5|