All That Is Solid Melts Into Air is Darragh McKeon’s first novel. I often like to give new authors a chance and will pick up their novels, but this one really grabbed my attention since it dealt with the issues of the Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine. I am Ukrainian- Canadian, and have learned about this disaster since I started school. It caused such havoc in the country (which was then part of the USSR) and caused Ukraine to gain a lot of media attention. Unfortunately Ukraine is currently back in the media, for different reasons, but one that is almost as tragic. Anyways, given that this book dealt with something that is important to me, I figured I should pick it up. I am so glad I did!
All The Is Solid Melts Into Air
Title: All That Is Solid Melts into Air
Author: Darragh McKeon
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
Source: Received from TLC Book Tour in exchange for an honest review
Russia, 1986. On a run-down apartment block in Moscow, a nine-year-old prodigy plays his piano silently for fear of disturbing the neighbors. In a factory on the outskirts of the city, his aunt makes car parts, hiding her dissident past. In a nearby hospital, a surgeon immerses himself in his work, avoiding his failed marriage.
And in a village in Ukraine, a teenage boy wakes to a sky of the deepest crimson. Outside, the ears of his neighbor’s cattle are dripping blood. Ten miles away, at the Chernobyl Power Plant, something unimaginable has happened.Now their lives will change forever.
An end-of-empire novel charting the collapse of the Soviet Union, All That Is Solid Melts into Air is a gripping and epic love story by a major new talent
About the Author
As I mentioned this is a topic that really means a lot to me. I had a number of friends who came over from Ukraine shortly after the devastation of the Chernoybl Power Plant. Although I really wanted to read this book, I was also a little hesitant. I was worried that this book would be really depressing and dark and just put me in a sad and depressed mood. It didn’t. Even though it talked about a topic that is not light and funny, it approached the topic delicately and really made the characters shine. As you read through the book you wanted to know what would happen to each of these characters- you really started to care for them. I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and was a pretty easy read.
Darragh clearly did his research before writing this novel. The names, the dates, the events, what actually occurred with individuals in the area- it was all very accurate. This made the novel a bit heartbreaking, but also realistic. If you like historical fiction, then I highly suggest you read this book. The characters will latch onto your heart and you will want to keep reading until you reach the final page, just because you want to make sure the ending is what you want.
One thing I have to mention because it drives me absolutely batty- it is Ukraine, not THE Ukraine- we don’t say the Canada or the Ireland, why would we say the Ukraine?! I know for years everyone referred to it as the Ukraine, and I have absolutely no idea where that came from, but just for future reference- it is Ukraine.
Thank you to