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From bestselling novelist T. C. Boyle, a satirical yet devastating exploration of Earth’s uncertain future.

Set in a not-so-far-away future, Blue Skies begins by asking the question: How will humans really react when their everyday lives are impacted by climate change? Boyle’s answer: They won’t. Not much anyway. 

Ok, if they live in a water-logged Florida like Cat, the daughter in the novel, they’ll fight back the mould growing in their house on stilts and drive a boat to their kid’s school. And if they’re a dedicated entomologist like Cat’s brother, Cooper, they’ll spend all day working outdoors in the dangerous California sun trying to discover why all the insects are dying.

But all that, Boyle argues, won’t stop terrible things from happening to these people. Climate change is no new phenomenon and to think that enough humans will change their behaviour enough to significantly alleviate the impact is foolish. 

And so Cat and her nature-loving family, including eco-warrior parents, Otillie and Frank, try to adapt to a world where once-in-a-lifetime ecological disasters happen every week. In his presentation of these 21st century characters, Boyle masterfully crafts a caricature of materialist American society that serves as a prophetic warning about our planet’s future. 

And, yet, just before Boyle drives his characters over the edge, he takes his foot off the gas just long enough to find a little hope. You’ll have to wait until the last page to feel it, but if one novel will help convince you to live a little greener, Blue Skies might just do it.

You can check out more of T.C Boyle’s novels here.

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Sophie Olejnik

Sophie Olejnik

Sophie is a trainee journalist at The University of Sheffield who specialises in feature writing. She has a keen passion for books and would love to work in the publishing industry in the future. She’s particularly passionate about how our ever-changing planet is represented in the books we read.

Favourite genres: Thrillers and Contemporary Fiction.