Anne Corlett's The Space Between the Stars is a story of love, searching for home within an apocalyptic universe and questions what it really means to be human. If you loved it as much as we did, you'll be wondering what to read next?! Anne stopped by the blog to give us her book recommendations.
Reviewers often reference other novels in an attempt to categorise a book for readers.
If you enjoyed X and Y, you’ll probably enjoy this.
This can be very helpful. If I read a glowing review citing other books I loved, I’ll probably pick it up. Equally, if someone loathed a book, bewailing its lack of similarity to the type of book I don’t generally read, I might well give it a go, bad review notwithstanding!
So in the spirit of helpful comparison, here are five recommendations for what to read next if you enjoyed certain aspects of The Space Between the Stars.
If you wanted more of the empty world, try The Mistress of Silence by Jacqueline Harpman.
This isn’t an upbeat read, but it is a beautifully written exploration of what it means to be completely alone. The main character has spent most of her childhood and her whole adolescence imprisoned with a group of older women. Concepts such as privacy and solitude are meaningless to her, and when she finds herself alone in an empty world, her emotional responses are shaped by her early experiences.
For a different take on the aftermath of a deadly pandemic, try Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.
The ‘now’ of the novel is some years in the future, in a world where society is being rebuilt after a virus decimated the population. The story of the survivors’ search for beauty and meaning, as well as simple existence, is interwoven with narratives from the last days of the old world.
If you enjoyed the journey at the heart of the book, try The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker
The author sets small, domestic elements against a vast backdrop of global destruction. For me, this was summed up by the scene in which the main character searches frantically for his daughter’s favourite toy as meteors race towards the earth. The story centres around an almost impossible journey across the country, by characters who aren’t heroes or supermen, but who somehow find a way to keep going.
To see the idea of restriction of reproductive freedom taken to a chilling extreme, try Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
This is a masterclass in how to construct a realistic dystopian world. Atwood takes a real and relevant issue and asks ‘what if…?’ The result is a terrifyingly plausible regime in which women are valued only for their reproductive organs and punished for their sexual history.
If you enjoyed the idea of our lives being made up of fragments of experience, try The End We Start From by Megan Hunter.
This is a highly unusual debut. It’s short – probably more of a novella than a novel - but it covers a lot of ground. Hunter essentially takes snapshots of her main character’s struggle to survive both a world that is falling apart and the trials of motherhood, while leaving it to the reader to fill in the space between those brief images.
The Space Between the Stars is out now.