REVIEW: The Unseen World by Liz Moore

In 2020, my reading goal was 90 books. I surpassed that goal, reading 91, many of which stood out as exceptional. The Unseen World was the first of these.

I read three Liz Moore novels last year, and each one was completely different. Long Bright River is a police procedural set in an opioid crisis. The Words of Every Song is a series of interconnected short stories about the music industry. The Unseen World, my favorite, is a family mystery with a touch of sci-fi. What the books all have in common is an emphasis on characters and relationships.

There was something nostalgic for me in The Unseen World. I identified right away with the child narrator, Ada, who was born the same year I was. She is 13 at the start of the book when her father develops early-onset Alzheimer’s. When I was about that age, I read A Wrinkle in Time and it became one of my favorite books. In it, Meg Murray (also 13) enlists the help of her neighbor to find her father. He is a scientist working on a scientific breakthrough just before he disappears. Maybe it’s a stretch, but Ada’s story feels familiar to me. Meg travels through time and space to literally find her imprisoned father – Ada travels into a virtual time and space in order to find answers about her father’s identity.

The Unseen World combines multiple genres. It is mainly a slow-building coming of age story with a touch of science fiction. In this case, the sci-fi aspect is what resulted in an emotional, satisfactory ending for me. Like A Wrinkle in Time, this novel gives me the feeling of revisiting an old friend. A new favorite.

The Unseen World
Liz Moore
Published July 26h, 2016 by W. W, Norton Company
451 pages


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