December pick (2 month read)
Cloud Atlas consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read (or observed) by the main character in the next. The first five stories are interrupted at a key moment. After the sixth story, the other five stories are returned to and closed, in reverse chronological order, and each ends with the main character reading or observing the chronologically previous work in the chain. Eventually, readers end where they started, with Adam Ewing in the nineteenth century South Pacific. Each story contains a document, movie or tradition that also appears in a previous story. It shows how history not only repeats itself, but also connects to people in all time periods and places.
This is a large book and we chose to read it for our December because of the holidays. There will be no official book discussion for the end of December. We will discuss this book at the end of January.