It all begins with a crash.
One night, seventeen-year-old Wolf steals his mother’s car and drives six hundred kilometers in search of his sister, who left home ten years ago. Unlicensed and on edge, he veers onto the wrong side of the road and causes an accident. He is arrested and incarcerated, forcing his mother and sister to reconnect and pick up the pieces in order to fight for his release.
What follows is a lyrical, precise, and unflinching account of the events that led to this moment, told through the alternating perspectives of Wolf’s mother, sister, and grandfather, as well as the doctor who was present at Wolf’s birth. With each chapter, new versions of the story and views of reality unfold, and they fit together like puzzle pieces: in an uncertain order at first, and then slowly falling neatly into place as the pages turn. As details about the characters’ lives and the disconnections in their relationships are revealed, the story becomes even more propulsive, even more compelling.
In this raw and poignant novel, Nathacha Appanah considers how trauma shapes generations and the wounds it leaves behind. The Sky above the Roof is both a portrait of a fractured family and a poetic exploration of the ways we break apart and rebuild.
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