Click here to read reviewer Michael Leonard's take on The Rapture.
I read a lot of books, yet it is rare that I read a book that I simply cannot put down and want to shout about from the rooftops. The Rapture is one such book.
Author Liz Jensen is new to me, but she is a bestselling novelist whose work has been translated into over 20 languages. I am so glad I found her! The Rapture is a gorgeously written tale of doom and apocalypse, based upon real science surrounding a very pressing issue involving runaway global warming and methane, all wrapped up in a story filled with thrills, romance, and superbly structured action that builds to a crescendo and satisfies at every turn.
Jensen weaves her vision of the end of the world into the chilling story of an art therapist named Gabrielle Fox, who comes to an adolescent psychiatric facility to work with a teenager who has brutally murdered her own mother. The patient, Bethany, is psychotic and unreachable, yet Gabrielle persists and the two form an unusual, yet tenuous connection. That’s when Fox begins to realize that her patient is also the daughter of a famous and influential fundamentalist preacher, and that Bethany has a gift of her own: she can see things, including the future. And, according to her predictions, the future is bleak indeed.
As Bethany’s predictions begin to come true, Fox realizes that she’s in over her head and finds help in the form of a love interest, physicist Frazer Melville, in whom she confides about her strange young patient. Melville doesn’t seem to care that Fox is wheelchair-bound due to a car accident, nor that Fox is bound to the haunting memories of what that accident took from her. The two become lovers as they pursue the truth about Bethany’s intensifying predictions of the end times, which the girl claims are coming soon.
The story never lets up as Fox and Melville work with the borderline insane girl, not sure if they can trust her or her horrific visions. Soon they are racing toward a truth not one of them is ready to face in a climax that rivals that of any top action-thriller author out there, but one that maintains a brutal sense of humanity as it propels the story forward at breakneck speed.
The Rapture is one of the best novels I have come across in years. I rarely allow myself the luxury of saying that, knowing how clichéd it can sound. In this case, author Liz Jensen has made a true believer out of me. Her writing is breathtaking, lush, gripping and beautiful, and her story is haunting and disturbing, one that I will never forget. The combination is simply rapturous.