Your audiobook is waiting…

The Ecliptic

A Novel
Narrated by: Jane MacFarlane
Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning author of The Bellwether Revivals comes a "gorgeous and harrowing work" (Emily St. John Mandel) set on a mysterious island where artists strive to recover their lost gifts - and where nothing is quite as it seems.

Situated on a Turkish island, Portmantle might be the strangest, most exclusive artists' colony around. Its brilliant residents linger for years, all expenses paid and living under assumed names. Relieved of the burdens of time and ego, they are free to create their next masterpieces.

Elspeth Conroy (aka "Knell") is a Scottish painter who has been at Portmantle for a decade, a refugee from the hectic London art scene. Her fellow longtimers include Quickman, whose sole book became a classic and paralyzed his muse; MacKinney, a playwright who left behind her family; and Pettifer, an architect obsessing over an unfinished cathedral.

In his astonishing second novel, Benjamin Wood gives us "an intensely intimate portrait of an artist as a young woman, with truths on every page" (Independent). The hermetic world at Portmantle shatters when the 17-year-old Fullerton arrives at the gates, his provenance and talents unknown. As Knell searches for answers, she reveals the path that led her to this place: her intimate bond with her gruff drunk of a mentor; her early successes and crushing failures; a journey across the Atlantic and into the psychiatrist's office; and a grand commission of astronomical significance.

What is "The Ecliptic", and how does it relate to the life Elspeth left behind? This gorgeous puzzle of a novel touches the head and the heart, and the effect is nothing short of electrifying.

©2016 Benjamin Wood (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Long slog for a Great ending

This was my second Benjamin Wood book. Without giving anything away, I will say that the plot revolves mainly around a talented young painter, Elspeth, or Knell, seeking to find her place in the world.
As with many individuals of artistic temperament, she often feels isolated from others and struggles with how to use her voice and express her artistic gifts.
A large part of the plot unfolds on Portmantle, in Turkey. We discover it to be an artist's colony, where she is residing with others like her, there to find respite and peace so they might again begin to create.
The ending of the book was very good and completely unexpected.
The plot feels very long. Perhaps increase the speed when listening if it gets slow through the middle...?
I do wish that the author had made it a bit shorter, if this meant more people would read it.