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A sensual novel, Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own. Somewhere far away-- or maybe right nearby-- lies an archipelag A sensual novel, Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own. Somewhere far away-- or maybe right nearby-- lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, anointed by the gods to make each resident one perfect meal when the time is right. Anise, his long lost love, is on a march toward reckoning with her healing powers. The governor’s daughter, Sonteine, is getting married, her father demanding a feast out of turn. And graffiti messages from an unknown source are asking hard questions. A storm is brewing. Before it comes, before the end of the day, this wildly imaginative narrative will take us across the islands, their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters.


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A sensual novel, Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own. Somewhere far away-- or maybe right nearby-- lies an archipelag A sensual novel, Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own. Somewhere far away-- or maybe right nearby-- lies an archipelago called Popisho. A place of stunning beauty and incorrigible mischief, destiny and mystery, it is also a place in need of change. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, anointed by the gods to make each resident one perfect meal when the time is right. Anise, his long lost love, is on a march toward reckoning with her healing powers. The governor’s daughter, Sonteine, is getting married, her father demanding a feast out of turn. And graffiti messages from an unknown source are asking hard questions. A storm is brewing. Before it comes, before the end of the day, this wildly imaginative narrative will take us across the islands, their history, and into the lives of unforgettable characters.

30 review for Popisho

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    The Torn Poem Restaurant was located on a cliff above the harbor with a view of the islands of Popisho. "Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something extra. The local name was Cors. Magic, but more than magic...a gift...from the gods: a thing so inexpressibly your own...Cooking Cors were rare as hell in a man...but...Xavier could flavor food through the palms of his hands. Xavier's old friend Entaly had musical earlobes and three buttock cheeks". After grueling training as the acolyte of The Torn Poem Restaurant was located on a cliff above the harbor with a view of the islands of Popisho. "Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something extra. The local name was Cors. Magic, but more than magic...a gift...from the gods: a thing so inexpressibly your own...Cooking Cors were rare as hell in a man...but...Xavier could flavor food through the palms of his hands. Xavier's old friend Entaly had musical earlobes and three buttock cheeks". After grueling training as the acolyte of retiring Macaenus Des'ree, Xavier was elevated to this exalted position. As Macaenus, his task was "to cook a meal for every single adult man and woman on Popisho. To delight a whole nation with his food...He tried to ignore it all: the worship, and the disapproval and the expectations". Xavier maintained a random guest list. "No one skips the line. No special treatment...". A letter from Governor Intiasar arrived addressed to Xavier Laurence Redchoose-the 413th Macaenus, announcing his daughter's engagement, requesting that Xavier prepare a traditional wedding night meal. Not so fast, governor! It used to be part of the Macaenus's duties to perform a walkround for purchasing the necessary ingredients for a feast. "Look, Macaenus! Some of the traders he recognized from their bartering techniques...He felt like a dancer, back in the arms of a former partner: old friends with intimate half-forgotten memories. They worked hard, these people: farmers, bakers, butchers. He'd spent 20 years building relationships with them for the first pick of their freshest produce. Sonteine Intiasar, the nervous bride to be, had a brother, Romanza. Disowned by their father, ZaZa had found happiness with Pilar, an indigent from the Dead Islands. Zaza became Pilar's acolyte and lover. The indigent people wore scant, frayed clothes...most had lost their capacity to blink and live in houses. They ate fruit, veggies, tubers, insects, occasional meat-and poison. Intiasar was seeking another term as governor. Apparently a rival had been painting signs of criticism, exposes of rundown buildings and complaints of lower wages. A single missive, in orange paint, was posted everywhere "What's Your Alternative?" "Popisho" by Leone Ross is a delightful romp into the world of magic realism. Xavier Redchoose was haunted by the ghost of his dearly departed wife and remorseful for not marrying his one true love. Strange occurrences abound. The toys from the Dukuyaie Toy Factory had disappeared. Women's private parts were falling out. A storm was brewing. Change was in the air. I highly recommend this imaginative, hilarious, mournful, playful read. Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    fatma

    Popisho is an extraordinary novel, and one of the most singular stories I've read in a long time. It's hard to know where to begin with Popisho because it is a novel that is so utterly brimming with life. And if it's a novel defined by its vitality, then its characters are its lifeblood. There is no shortage of complex, empathetic, and human characters here. There are younger characters and older ones, brothers and sisters, parents and children, lovers and exes. They all come with their own pers Popisho is an extraordinary novel, and one of the most singular stories I've read in a long time. It's hard to know where to begin with Popisho because it is a novel that is so utterly brimming with life. And if it's a novel defined by its vitality, then its characters are its lifeblood. There is no shortage of complex, empathetic, and human characters here. There are younger characters and older ones, brothers and sisters, parents and children, lovers and exes. They all come with their own personal histories and narrative voices, and you get to watch them develop beautifully over the course of the novel. Part of why Ross's characters work so well, I think, is because this novel is so polyphonic. Ross is able to masterfully embody the voices of her characters, whether they are major or minor, and even if they are just mentioned in passing and never heard from again. Her voices have real verve, a kind of energy and buoyancy that I so rarely encounter in the novels I read. One of the most remarkable things about Popisho is also how vivid it is. Popisho as a setting is almost technicolour in its vividness. I distinctly remember reading one scene in this book and having to pause for a second because I was just so taken aback by how evocative the writing was, how palpable it made this world feel. Reading about the world of Popisho isn't reading about it so much as it is about being in it. Frankly, I could go on and on about this novel: its humour, its empathy, its poignancy. It's just that good.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)

    This review is also available on my blog. "Popisho was just too goddamned Popisho right about now." Welcome to Popisho, where metaphor becomes real and the real becomes metaphor. This One Sky Day is literary fiction at its absolute finest. We are introduced to the far, far away archipelago of Popisho, which seems to have a very Caribbean feel - although the word Caribbean is never mentioned, Ross preferring to preserve Popisho's mystery. The archipelago is populated by the offspring of, generation This review is also available on my blog. "Popisho was just too goddamned Popisho right about now." Welcome to Popisho, where metaphor becomes real and the real becomes metaphor. This One Sky Day is literary fiction at its absolute finest. We are introduced to the far, far away archipelago of Popisho, which seems to have a very Caribbean feel - although the word Caribbean is never mentioned, Ross preferring to preserve Popisho's mystery. The archipelago is populated by the offspring of, generations and generations ago, emancipated slaves and the indigenous population of Popisho. As much as Popisho is very deliberately isolated from the politics and various goings-on of the outside world (in fact, it could very much be a collection of islands in a mystical parallel world, like a tropical Avalon, if it were not for the very off-hand mention of Korea and Romania at around three-quarters in), this is important. "This was the dead language of their ancestors, wrenched to life in these throats; lost, found and streaming out of their mouths and down their lips. Singing through the thickening air. In each face she could see terrible compassion and sorrow." Through everything, Ross displays a fantastic undercurrent of humour of every shade imaginable: playful, witty, surreal, cutting, deadpan - and it works perfectly. She toes the line between comedy and tragedy, dancing through the shades of grey between and creating something that is so multifaceted, so complex, and so human. Although Popisho has the makings of paradise, the author does not for one second allow us to think that human nature is any different here than anywhere else. But here's where this novel differs from so many of the misery-drenched, melancholia-worshipping literary fiction books - the corruption and tragedy never quite manages to eclipse the sheer atavistic wonder both these islands and of the human condition. Yes, humans can be selfish, greedy, and their arbitrary hatred for that which is different can anchor into society, into conventions, into their very souls. But Ross also reminds us of the flipside: of how people can find wonder in everything, of the never-faltering curiosity and awe of the human species, and how there's always people who strive to right wrongs - and they aren't always doomed to failure. Sometimes, they can prevail. Sometimes, darkness doesn't win. There's so much more I can say about this novel, but I won't, because a large part of the beauty of this novel is having the intricately imagined world of Popisho unfurl in front of your eyes as the author intended. But I will say this: If this novel doesn't make it onto the Booker Prize longlist (at least), there's no justice in this world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    What a truly unique and entertaining read! Leone Ross takes on an unforgettable journey! In This One Sky Day we are taken to a fictional archipelago of Popisho. The Islanders are born with something called Cors. The Cors allows them special abilities like, being able to tell when someone is lying, extreme strength, speed, or the ability to cook food for someone’s individual taste. Yes, the Cors are endless and these Islanders are blessed with magic being all around them. With the impending we What a truly unique and entertaining read! Leone Ross takes on an unforgettable journey! In This One Sky Day we are taken to a fictional archipelago of Popisho. The Islanders are born with something called Cors. The Cors allows them special abilities like, being able to tell when someone is lying, extreme strength, speed, or the ability to cook food for someone’s individual taste. Yes, the Cors are endless and these Islanders are blessed with magic being all around them. With the impending wedding of the Governor’s daughter Sonteine, the people of Popisho are in a somewhat festive mood. The Governor ordered a big feast to be made by Xavier Redchoose, the chosen macaenus, he is able to make the perfect meal for your individual taste. Xavier, is still grieving the death of his wife who drowned… or did she commit suicide or… did her kill her? It is hard to tell but the Islanders have their theories. There is also wife who finds out her husband is cheating on her and spends the entire day looking into the claim. It is while at she is doing her detective work, at exactly 12 noon all the women of Popisho’s vagina fell out from underneath them. What continues next is entertaining, enchanting, and beautifully executed. I have always stood by my claims that Leone Ross is a writer and she cements this claim with the publication of this book. I love how her mind works, and we get a look behind the curtain of her brilliant brain with this novel. There are moments when I am LAUGHING OUT LOUD and other times I am somber, you go through a range of emotions reading this beautifully written book. I cannot wait for the World to read this! Thanks Faber Faber for send me this!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    A Celebration of Words, Bodies, Living, Women, Men. Leone Ross with her magic reality grabs our realities, our regrets, sorrows, griefs, loving, choices and takes a deep look at them. While she infuses them with her fantastical words, they remain our reality. How different persons see the same person differently, how they love or not love that same person differently. Zeb's view of Nya was so lovingly written, such a poignant moment. Ross continues giving us contrasts throughout the story, men - w A Celebration of Words, Bodies, Living, Women, Men. Leone Ross with her magic reality grabs our realities, our regrets, sorrows, griefs, loving, choices and takes a deep look at them. While she infuses them with her fantastical words, they remain our reality. How different persons see the same person differently, how they love or not love that same person differently. Zeb's view of Nya was so lovingly written, such a poignant moment. Ross continues giving us contrasts throughout the story, men - women, enslaved - indigent, right - wrong. She also examines different gifts, blessings we are given and by putting a light on them she values what we might in our busy world discard. All in all I loved the strength and joy she painted with her words and I'd love to taste more. An ARC gently given by author/publishers via Netgalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    Dis a di book you read when you live a farin and u miss u yaad. This story is forever locked in mind and heart because it was infused with the spirit of my island home. The dialogue is sharp, fluid, lyrical, rhythmic, vibrant, and vibrates with the spirit of a culture and people that we are intimately linked to. The prose is heady with meaning, reaches out to steep the reader in emotion, place, and space; the characters feel known and the smells of the world are rich. The characters are central to Dis a di book you read when you live a farin and u miss u yaad. This story is forever locked in mind and heart because it was infused with the spirit of my island home. The dialogue is sharp, fluid, lyrical, rhythmic, vibrant, and vibrates with the spirit of a culture and people that we are intimately linked to. The prose is heady with meaning, reaches out to steep the reader in emotion, place, and space; the characters feel known and the smells of the world are rich. The characters are central to the themes, setting, and world that Ross creates. They are our sisters, brothers, friends, and neighbours; all infused with a magic that is heavily influenced by our culture. The diligence imparted in creating this story is palpable and every emotion is engaged while reading. It is impossible not to acknowledge the beauty found within these pages, the heart and empathy, the love, loss, and pain; how each serve their immense purpose of combining to culminate in true storytelling prowess. Each page takes us from strength to strength and leaves us in awe of Ross' ability to weave a tale so unique yet marked indelibly with her heritage, her Caribbean, paying homage to the breadth of imagination that most assuredly is gifted from the ancestors. Every once in a blue moon a book comes along with a story on its pages that drips pure concentrated sugar, sugar that is so sweet it hurts, so sumptuous and sensual, so bawdy and real, so mystical and magical. This One Sky Day is that book. A story of people that could fall from our grandmother's lips. There's no greater praise we could give a book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lara Farrell

    I don’t want to say too much about the detail of this book because immersing yourself in this world and slowly understanding what is happening around you is one of the biggest treats this novel offers. A magic realist novel set over the course of one day in the island nation of Popisho, this is the most sensuous, lyrical novel I have read in a very long time - the kind of novel you desperately want to see filmed but to which film could never do justice. It’s a love story, it’s a political satire I don’t want to say too much about the detail of this book because immersing yourself in this world and slowly understanding what is happening around you is one of the biggest treats this novel offers. A magic realist novel set over the course of one day in the island nation of Popisho, this is the most sensuous, lyrical novel I have read in a very long time - the kind of novel you desperately want to see filmed but to which film could never do justice. It’s a love story, it’s a political satire, it’s a novel about addiction and it’s a stunning example of post-colonial writing combined with beautiful imagery and a playfulness with language that I absolutely loved. I couldn’t put it down and I will be recommending it to everyone once it’s published next year. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Faber for the ARC, this has just jumped to the top of my list of best novels of 2020 and I can’t wait to buy copies of it for everyone I know next year.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I read a glowing review of this book in the NYT a week or so ago, and am so thankful because I don't know if I'd have heard of this otherwise. First things first: if you are a person who not only loves to read, but also loves the physicality of books themselves, you need to know that this is a stunningly beautiful book. I gasped when I saw it. I'm a fan of sprayed edges - like, a big fan - and this not only has sprayed edges on the top and bottom pages, but artwork sprayed along the length. So, a I read a glowing review of this book in the NYT a week or so ago, and am so thankful because I don't know if I'd have heard of this otherwise. First things first: if you are a person who not only loves to read, but also loves the physicality of books themselves, you need to know that this is a stunningly beautiful book. I gasped when I saw it. I'm a fan of sprayed edges - like, a big fan - and this not only has sprayed edges on the top and bottom pages, but artwork sprayed along the length. So, as you're reading the book, you're also seeing this beautiful artwork changing shape as you move the pages. It's gorgeous, and so appropriate for the immersive story this art contains. Everyone in my family picked this book up at different times just to look at it. "To be alive was a gamble, a bizarre miracle." This is the whole book, as described by two of the main characters as they walk across the surface of the ocean, working in symbiosis with the inhabitants of the ocean to catch them and move them to the shore. This is one of the least bizarre, and beautiful miracles contained in this novel which also features a tree that sheds fragments of poetry. Reading this reminded me of novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a bit of Toni Morrison, and Marlon James. The first 50 or so pages reminded me the most strongly of James' "Black Leopard, Red Wolf" in that both books compel you to read them on their terms, not yours. The books have their own cadences that, for me, required adjustments, but once I acclimated to the pacing and place, I was stuck in. Now that I think about it, many of Morrison's and Faulkner’s novels do that, too. With that said, I have never, ever...and I do mean, EVER, read something like this. There is an incident that occurs during the second third of the book that is so wild, unsettling, and yet hilarious - I don't even know how to describe it. It's truly unforgettable, and so utterly bonkers and surreal, but it also has something to say, underneath, about relationships, power, people on the fringe, feminism, societal structures. Like all of my favourite books this novel uses magic and the unexplainable to explore deeper issues that impact the world we all inhabit. There are so many things I can write about this, but I suppose the best and most true thing I can say is that it is one of the most imaginative novels I have read in some time. Five ripe and glimmering stars for this one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ramya Jegatheesan

    TL: DR Buy this book and read it. Buy it for your parents, your siblings, your niblings, your friends. An absolute stunner of a novel. Many, many thanks to Netgalley and Faber for the ARC because it let me discover This One Sky Day. This is a world where moths can get you drunk, a man can tell when you're lying, the maceanus knows exactly what you need to eat, a woman knows when you'll die, vulvas can fall out, a house adapts to its owner's wishes, cors (magic) is an everyday thing and so much mor TL: DR Buy this book and read it. Buy it for your parents, your siblings, your niblings, your friends. An absolute stunner of a novel. Many, many thanks to Netgalley and Faber for the ARC because it let me discover This One Sky Day. This is a world where moths can get you drunk, a man can tell when you're lying, the maceanus knows exactly what you need to eat, a woman knows when you'll die, vulvas can fall out, a house adapts to its owner's wishes, cors (magic) is an everyday thing and so much more. It's a world of carnivalesque possibility, a richness of life and stories, a world told well with a winking eye by a masterful writer. The book has all the elements that make me fall for a story: sensuous magical realism that can be read as symbolism but can just be read straight depending on how you're feeling; lyrical, rhythmic dialectal speech; wonderfully drawn characters whose stories, no matter how normal or mad, you want to follow all the way to the end. There's a real joy, a celebration in the language and writing; it feels like the author had fun with every word she wrote and you can feel it as a reader. This was such a feel-good book - not because it was apolitical or didn't discuss real-world issues through the lens of the magical island, but because the writing, the language itself, a flutter of butterflies in its own right, was so uplifting, so wonderful. Ross discusses grief, addiction, love with the most of deft of hands. I will never understand how Ross makes lists of vegetables and their adjectives sound so beautiful, so vivid, so near the teeth and tongue. This One Sky Day follows the legacy of brilliant magical realism novels about food - Like Water for Chocolate, Chocolat etc - but takes it further. It's been a tough year and I haven't been able to settle with a book for a long time. I'd start a book, leave it for weeks, feel loathe to rejoin it, read a bit and then leave it again. I haven't dived into a book, settled to the bottom of a story in so long and this book came along. I read it like I read books as a child, coming back from the library, sitting in a chair and just devouring, gorging on a book until it was finished and I felt replete and vaguely sick. I read this book everywhere - in quiet moments whilst teaching, eating meals, on the toilet, everywhere. I wanted to read it and I didn't want it to end. I wanted to reread it the minute I finished it. I want to tell everyone to get NetGalley so they can read it and wax lyrical too and I'm annoyed that I'll have to wait until March 2021 to buy it for myself and others. This book is going to be late Christmas gifts and early birthday presents for a long time; I've told friends, family, writing groups how brilliant this book is. I am really quite judgemental when it comes to novels, I'm very hard to please, so my unequivocal championing of a book is quite rare, but the truth is, I don't think I've been this in love with a book for years. I could talk about this book for pages but all I want to do is urge you to read the book - which I think is the best thing I've read all year.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Ouwerkerk

    Leone Ross speaks of lovers who teach you all kinds of flavor in her acknowledgments. I can assure you that this book shows you as many flavors as there are cors (magical gifts) on Popisho. It has never been clearer that every person is unique. Some are right for you and others aren’t, but they all bring color to your life. It is up to you to choose the right person. Reading this book feels like exploring a lesser-known part of the world. Popisho would be the perfect travel destination, with the Leone Ross speaks of lovers who teach you all kinds of flavor in her acknowledgments. I can assure you that this book shows you as many flavors as there are cors (magical gifts) on Popisho. It has never been clearer that every person is unique. Some are right for you and others aren’t, but they all bring color to your life. It is up to you to choose the right person. Reading this book feels like exploring a lesser-known part of the world. Popisho would be the perfect travel destination, with the passionate and gifted but flawed natives of the archipelago as your guides. This is the only land where moths are the new drugs and you can get rid of a man by folding him like a piece of paper and drop him far away on the beach. The narrative is wildly imaginative and at times you will wonder what you are reading. The people in Popisho try to overcome addiction as they deal with love and relationships, and all the weird things that the exotic archipelago throws at them. If your most intimate body parts can fall off anytime and you live to tell, then you know that you can adapt. And that is one skill that you need to have if you want to live on Popisho. Leone Rosse wrote such a fun and entertaining story. Enjoy the ride and go wherever it takes you. Popisho is a book unlike any other. It is magical and absurd, sensual and down-to-earth. The only drawback for me was the use of (Caribbean) slang and grammar to illustrate the exoticness of the islands, as it made reading more energy-consuming. But other than that, I loved the story. The characters are interesting – I especially liked Anise, Xavier, and Des’ree – and the events are as far from boring as it gets. You might not always be able to follow what is happening – I didn’t – but that doesn’t matter. Only Popisho natives will truly understand this story about love, addiction, and choices. So I encourage you to read this book (and to take a good look at the amazing cover). I mean, what’s your alternative? Many thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fay Flude

    This is a highly unusual and original book, some of which I understood and a lot which I did not! It feels other worldly this place they call Popisho, with humour, magic, and a sense of finding oneself but not in any way you will have read before. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus, a sort of God chosen to feed the people. Each inhabitant of the archipelago has a unique cors, a gift, and Xavier's is flavouring food. There is a wedding to take place which he is meant to be cooking for, but there seems This is a highly unusual and original book, some of which I understood and a lot which I did not! It feels other worldly this place they call Popisho, with humour, magic, and a sense of finding oneself but not in any way you will have read before. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus, a sort of God chosen to feed the people. Each inhabitant of the archipelago has a unique cors, a gift, and Xavier's is flavouring food. There is a wedding to take place which he is meant to be cooking for, but there seems to be some dissent and dissatisfaction with the local Government and there are some funny interludes on the radio station dealing with this. It is the corrupt Governor's daughter Sonteine who is getting married and her twin brother Romanza seems to live in the Bush away from his family and wants to reveal the things going on that are not right. There is Bend Down Market, eating butterflies, orange paint being daubed on the factory and women's pum pums are falling out! (Vulgar slang of a West Indian origin referring to the female genitals) Xavier is mourning the loss of his wife Nya and her spirit/ghost/wandering body hasn't been saved, whilst Anise, who is Xavier's long lost love seems to be trying to come to terms with her husband's infidelity and her lack of living children. It is apparently set over one day but I hadn't realised this until I read other reviews. There seems to be a battle with drug addiction in the form of eating moths and a visit into the past with the woman Desiree who chose Xavier to be the next macaenus. In parts beautiful, funny, bewildering and confusing this is a story you need to concentrate on as the rhythm of the prose and the dialect used reflects Popisho, or rather the author's background. Thank you to the author, publisher and the Pigeonhole team for the chance to read such an unusual book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bagus

    Xavier Laurence Redchoose, the four hundred and thirteenth macaenus, has just lost his wife Nya who was brought home already lifeless. And with that, Leone Ross begins to bring us into Popisho, a place full of magic where everything could happen. Besides Xavier, the story revolves around Anise Latibeauderre, the daughter of a Christian pastor, and Romanza Intiasar, the disowned son of the Governor in Popisho. At first, it sounds as though each of the character’s story would be told to us indepen Xavier Laurence Redchoose, the four hundred and thirteenth macaenus, has just lost his wife Nya who was brought home already lifeless. And with that, Leone Ross begins to bring us into Popisho, a place full of magic where everything could happen. Besides Xavier, the story revolves around Anise Latibeauderre, the daughter of a Christian pastor, and Romanza Intiasar, the disowned son of the Governor in Popisho. At first, it sounds as though each of the character’s story would be told to us independently, but turns out that they’re interrelated. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something-something boys, a little something extra. The local name was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing so inexpressibly your own. (Loc. 261) — — Each character is described in their own unique ability called ‘cors’ which they obtain upon birth. And it is from each character’s ‘cors’ that the magic in Popisho takes shapes in the story. Leone Ross is keen on inventing every single myth in Popisho from scratch. She paints an imaginary place, with characters who have uncommon names and uncanny abilities. And even the problem that Popisho women had to face is rather disturbing to me, as their pum-pum —this is where the uniqueness begins as the author has an obscure way to describe vagina without mentioning it explicitly— begins to fall and Governor Intiasar issues an order to ban any sexual intercourse for 24 hours until the pum-pum of his daughter could be found. It brings the sense that everything is possible in Popisho, an island that we could never fully comprehend. In the midst of the yelling, Sonteine had given as good as she got-after all, it was she who climbed into Dandu’s bedroom, and she who let him look between her legs and how was it his fault that the blasted thing have to fall out right that minute, especially now she knew it wasn’t just her it happen to? (Loc. 3281) — — Somehow it sounds amazing to me that the author could describe something sexual without bringing it out explicitly, as though the act of sexual intercourse between Popisho people is something sacred and holy rather than taboo. The vivid description of Popisho is something to be praised, coming from the author who has spent her formative years in Jamaica. However, I feel a bit conflicted about the way the author describes Popisho. The words screamed out to me as though they beg for me to read them fast with fluidity as when I read any works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, yet it requires a slower approach to understand the description of Popisho and its citizens. Much more so due to the (intentionally) grammatical mistakes here and there which might be written that way in order to create an exotic aura, yet makes my brain thinking harder upon reading. At first, it seems like the kind of book that I’d like to read, given the rich characterisation and description. There are certainly many things to praise from this book. However, I read it during a busy week that I might have missed a lot of details inside this book as the story got more intense. Maybe I’ll have some changes of thoughts in the future when I reread it at a more convenient time. === I received the Advance Reader Copy from Farrar, Straus and Giroux through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    2TReads

    The dialogue is sharp, fluid, lyrical, rhythmic, vibrant, and vibrates with the spirit of a culture and people that we are intimately linked to. The prose is heady with meaning, reaches out to steep the reader in emotion, place, and space; the characters feel known and the smells of the world are rich. The characters are central to the themes, setting, and world that Ross creates. They are our sisters, brothers, friends, and neighbours; all infused with a magic that is heavily influenced by our c The dialogue is sharp, fluid, lyrical, rhythmic, vibrant, and vibrates with the spirit of a culture and people that we are intimately linked to. The prose is heady with meaning, reaches out to steep the reader in emotion, place, and space; the characters feel known and the smells of the world are rich. The characters are central to the themes, setting, and world that Ross creates. They are our sisters, brothers, friends, and neighbours; all infused with a magic that is heavily influenced by our culture. The diligence imparted in creating this story is palpable and every emotion is engaged while reading. It is impossible not to acknowledge the beauty found within these pages, the heart and empathy, the love, loss, and pain; how each serve their immense purpose of combining to culminate in true storytelling prowess. Each page takes us from strength to strength and leaves us in awe of Ross' ability to weave a tale so unique yet marked indelibly with her heritage, her Caribbean, paying homage to the breadth of imagination that most assuredly is gifted from the ancestors. Every once in a blue moon a book comes along with a story on its pages that drips pure concentrated sugar, sugar that is so sweet it hurts, so sumptuous and sensual, so bawdy and real, so mystical and magical. This One Sky Day is that book. A story of people that could fall from our grandmother's lips. There's no greater praise we could give a book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicki Markus

    At a glance, Popisho should have been a novel I loved. It is a work of full-on magical realism, and the blurb sounded enticing and exciting. Certainly, I can appreciate what Ross was trying to achieve, and there were elements I enjoyed, such as the general concept and the characters. However, I really struggled to engage with the prose. To be fair, I read this during a super busy week while I was trying to finish everything for both my jobs before the holidays, so perhaps I was simply too tired At a glance, Popisho should have been a novel I loved. It is a work of full-on magical realism, and the blurb sounded enticing and exciting. Certainly, I can appreciate what Ross was trying to achieve, and there were elements I enjoyed, such as the general concept and the characters. However, I really struggled to engage with the prose. To be fair, I read this during a super busy week while I was trying to finish everything for both my jobs before the holidays, so perhaps I was simply too tired to give the book the attention it needed. I simply couldn't relax into the cadence of the language and sink into the story, though, which made it a jarring read for me. It just didn't click. I have seen some very positive reviews for this book, so if you are considering reading it, please don't let my more negative comments put you off from giving it a try. I am perfectly happy to admit that this may simply have been an issue of bad timing. Perhaps I will try the book again in the future, to see if I get on better with it then, but for the present it is a 2.5-star read for me because I liked the idea and other aspects but found the prose style too much of a slog. I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a book to read slowly; to breathe it all in properly; to linger in its tale told over a single day. A story luxuriously and confidently told, which is sumptuous from sentence to sentence. There is both literal and literary magic here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Different to any other book I read. Good, but not type of book is read again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vera

    This book is bursting at the seams with beauty! Magic! Love! Imagination! It is a burst of colour and flame. Leone Ross is a genius - we already knew that - but this gorgeous book outdoes all her previous works for me with its mesmerising world. Nobody writes feelings like Ross or breaks hearts with words like she does. Every sentence is a treat to read, and the story somehow messy, up and down and yet perfectly logical and draws you in with a powerful grip. For those who forget how to love; for This book is bursting at the seams with beauty! Magic! Love! Imagination! It is a burst of colour and flame. Leone Ross is a genius - we already knew that - but this gorgeous book outdoes all her previous works for me with its mesmerising world. Nobody writes feelings like Ross or breaks hearts with words like she does. Every sentence is a treat to read, and the story somehow messy, up and down and yet perfectly logical and draws you in with a powerful grip. For those who forget how to love; for those who love to explore new worlds; for those after the next greatest contemporary writer; for those after literary fiction. Really, for anyone. This book is perfect.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    Likened to Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I'm in Likened to Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I'm in

  19. 4 out of 5

    Swati

    Popisho In the midst of an already chaotic year, this book came into my life (thanks @netgalley and @fsgbooks) - and I just had a TIME with it!! Popisho is an island, and a world. It is a concept and a feeling. It is the thread between every protagonist of the novel, and it is a political statement. In Popisho, people have cors - god-given gifts of healing, cooking, and catching lies. Cors are their folly and their reason to live - with their life’s purpose arranged from childhood, the people of P Popisho In the midst of an already chaotic year, this book came into my life (thanks @netgalley and @fsgbooks) - and I just had a TIME with it!! Popisho is an island, and a world. It is a concept and a feeling. It is the thread between every protagonist of the novel, and it is a political statement. In Popisho, people have cors - god-given gifts of healing, cooking, and catching lies. Cors are their folly and their reason to live - with their life’s purpose arranged from childhood, the people of Popisho are left instead to finagle with drama and destiny. To open, we meet Xavier, a maceanus who has the gift of cooking exactly the right thing per person...when the time comes. His wife Nya has surrendered herself to the sea, but throughout the novel we are left trilling between whether it was an accident, suicide, or homicide. Xav has been commissioned to cook for the governor’s daughter Sonteine, out of turn of his ability. Meanwhile, Anise has discovered a cheating husband and Romanza has been disowned. In between all this, Ross zooms out to the political climate of Popisho - which is in tumult. The first hints of upcoming chaos on Popisho are when mysterious yellow graffiti emerges - they interrogate Popishans (sp?) with the know-how of Big Brother and the heart of a revolutionary. Then, at exactly 12 noon, the “pum pum” of every woman falls out - some are bouncing in the streets, stolen by peeping Toms, or secured into locked drawers until they can be re-attached. That’s right, when all women find their vulvas spontaneously detached, the government passes an edict that all sexual intercourse must halt for 24 hours until a solution is reached. *GASP* This 24 hours turns into a witching hour - we get the feeling of a storm stirring as warm western winds meet the eastern ones. Popisho is on edge. Yet, with spry storytelling and boundless imagination, Ross tackles heavy subjects like addiction, grief, and broken hearts with a lens of joy. It brought curiosity and playfulness into my life, frosted with unapologetic feminism, and rich mythology baked from scratch. As amazing as these characters seem, this book has earned a forever spot on my bookshelf for one other reason - Leone Ross has a cors herself. She spreads words onto the page with artistic genius. She is a composer of the page. Her word choice is eccentric, but she creates cadence and character in fonts. I’m telling you people - this book is a best-kept secret at the moment. There is nothing else like it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5 stars. Sensually strange and weirdly wonderful. It’s genuinely difficult to know where to start with this book. It’s strange and wonderful, and bizarre and magical all at once. I felt so many emotions as I followed the residents of Popisho through one day of their lives. A day that was pretty eventful by all accounts! A wedding, a beauty contest, a storm, an invasion of physalis fruit and a very unfortunate event with pum pums!! In Popisho, which has a very Caribbean vibe, everyone i ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4.5 stars. Sensually strange and weirdly wonderful. It’s genuinely difficult to know where to start with this book. It’s strange and wonderful, and bizarre and magical all at once. I felt so many emotions as I followed the residents of Popisho through one day of their lives. A day that was pretty eventful by all accounts! A wedding, a beauty contest, a storm, an invasion of physalis fruit and a very unfortunate event with pum pums!! In Popisho, which has a very Caribbean vibe, everyone is born with a little something extra; a Cors, or magical power. This could be having 5 hearts, the ability to change the colour of things, to tell when someone is lying, to heal, to season food with your hands and know what someone needs to eat for their soul. The dead walk as ghosts and ghost heel is considered a delicacy by some and an abomination by others. Obeah women can use spells to fold people up, breaking all their bones in the process but allowing them to wake up just fine. People get drunk eating butterflies and high on moth. The list goes on... In this world of magical realism we meet many characters but mostly follow the lives of Xavier and Anise. Two almost lovers, who have been parted for many years. Both dealing with their own separate grief, they seem to be slowly drawn back to each other on This One Sky Day. In places my brain ached as I tried to comprehend the weird and wonderful world of this novel. So much so that in the first chapters I almost gave up, thinking that I’d never get to grips with the surrealism that oozes from the pages. I’m so glad I stuck with it though; now I’ve finished, I hate to leave their magical lives behind. Despite the fantastical setting, this novel sensitively tackles many real world concerns; corruption, discrimination, prejudice, grief, sexual harassment, adultery, miscarriage, unhappy family relationships, addiction, poverty, to name a few. This is a book with a lot to say and it says it so well. The writing style is thoroughly hypnotic, the prose colourful and glorious. This novel exudes a strong sense of the vibrancy of life in all its wonderful forms, that I feel will stay with me for a long time after turning the last page. Thank you to Pigeonhole, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Once in a while, I will come across a book that makes me reevaluate pretty much everything else I have read in the past. It makes me think, "Wow, how dare I rate X-book as five stars, when it pales in comparison to this?" I had that feeling once or twice in the past and I had it again not when I finished "Popisho" ("This One Sky Day" in the UK) but from the very first pages, when I was immediately swept into a world where ghosts come back to settle their scores, where trees dispense not fruit bu Once in a while, I will come across a book that makes me reevaluate pretty much everything else I have read in the past. It makes me think, "Wow, how dare I rate X-book as five stars, when it pales in comparison to this?" I had that feeling once or twice in the past and I had it again not when I finished "Popisho" ("This One Sky Day" in the UK) but from the very first pages, when I was immediately swept into a world where ghosts come back to settle their scores, where trees dispense not fruit but fragments of poetry, and where people get drunk on butterflies just as easily as rum. The thing with "Popisho" is that I could easily compare it to powerhouses of literary fantasies and (I know, I know this is a very loaded term) magical realism. In fact, this is perhaps the only book that deserves the comparison to "One Hundred Years of Solitude"; it is also the only book that has ever managed to recreate the almost transcendent atmosphere of Garcia Marquez's masterpiece. You know that sensation that yes, this world Ross has described is magical and thus unattainable beyond the realm of fiction, but something about the characters and the story also fills you with the certainty that if you only know where to go and where to look, you will manage to find it somewhere. Still, while that comparison might be technically accurate, it feels if not unfair, in that I think all comparisons tend to have the potential of diluting the lesser known author's achievement. And what an achievement this is! A powerful love story that takes you by surprise, because it is not about romance, or at least not only. It's about community building, friendship, our relationship to the natural world, it is also a subtle and tongue-in-cheek critique of power and gender and colonialism, delivered with such panache that I alternated between laughing and crying. Ross's writing is poetic and like her story, steeped in Jamaican English and Caribbean folklore. It's just... this is a fantastic story, with a cast of characters you grow to love and ache for, told by a master stylist that made me fall in love with reading all over again. What can I say, I am a sucker for a story about star-crossed lovers!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Spicer

    Leone Ross has written a masterpiece; this is magical realism at its best, a truly original sensory feast of a novel. Popisho is an archipelago hidden away from the rest of our world. It is Caribbean in feel and texture; the broken spoken word takes some getting used to, but is so worth the perseverance. The islands’ inhabitants possess magical powers, or ‘cors’; with each individual power, comes responsibility and the complexity of motivation and personal worth. At its centre, this is a love st Leone Ross has written a masterpiece; this is magical realism at its best, a truly original sensory feast of a novel. Popisho is an archipelago hidden away from the rest of our world. It is Caribbean in feel and texture; the broken spoken word takes some getting used to, but is so worth the perseverance. The islands’ inhabitants possess magical powers, or ‘cors’; with each individual power, comes responsibility and the complexity of motivation and personal worth. At its centre, this is a love story; but its multifaceted characters portray so much more. Over the course of one single day, we witness a community coming together to overcome corruption; it is a story of hope and a portrayal of the good amongst us, who will fight for what is right. Themes of addiction, love, family, sex, prejudice, sexism and inequality run through this beautiful tale – as the narrative becomes more surreal, our story comes to a climax and our characters are changed forever. ‘Not all of them hate us, just the loudest.’ Pilar would not take his hand away. ‘We are here, Zaza. We cannot die. But we may have to pass, for them to learn. “I’ve always trusted you, Pilar. Is you teach me. To waterwalk. Everything. To love. But no, not this!” Why not? Death is an idea. You watch things die every day and you rejoice. This One Sky Day is a political, post-colonial satire; yet its writing is a poetic, sensual feast. It is a joy, a vibrant celebration of life; I read a review that said that Leone Ross had fun writing this, you can feel it. I agree totally; her writing is playful, witty and lyrical – her characters; beguiling, sensual and full of wonder. Her imagery, is like nothing I have experienced; the alcoholic butterfly, the moth drug, the walking ghosts whose souls need to be laid to rest… luxurious food fills the pages and evoke such feeling that I spent a lot of my reading time hungry! I was totally immersed in the lives of the people of Popisho and the skill of Ross’s writing will stay with me. ‘But discussions inevitably devolved. He could hear the exact moment an argument frayed, when it became about feelings, still pretending to be facts’ ‘It was all true and yet not, in that way that things were’ I could go on, but you should go read it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The sun rises on another day in the archipelago of Popisho, a place where the strange and fantastic are routine. Over the course of this single day, the lives of several of its residents will intertwine, and by nightfall, all will have given a gift but many will no longer be the same. There's obviously a proper, academic definition for Magical Realism, but my personal one is this: "strange things happen that the author doesn't explain and that the characters don't question, therefore you shouldn' The sun rises on another day in the archipelago of Popisho, a place where the strange and fantastic are routine. Over the course of this single day, the lives of several of its residents will intertwine, and by nightfall, all will have given a gift but many will no longer be the same. There's obviously a proper, academic definition for Magical Realism, but my personal one is this: "strange things happen that the author doesn't explain and that the characters don't question, therefore you shouldn't either." (Suffice to say, if you're someone who needs everything explained, this likely won't be your cup of tea (or rum; other beverages are available ;D). Everyone in Popisho has a magical gift (known as "corrs"), something that is uniquely their own: Xavier can flavour food through his hands; Anise is a healer; Romanza can tell when people are lying. The story takes place over the course of a single day, and what starts out as the story of three characters - Xavier preparing a wedding feast, Anise investigating her husband's possible infidelity, and Romanza unearthing truth - soon grows to encompass much more: love, addiction, prejudice, politics, sex, violence against women (physical & sexual) etc. And if that sounds like too many ingredients, worry not - rather than spoiling the broth it all combines to make a rich, delicious stew. And if it also sounds like it could be dangerously worthy or pretentious, again don't worry - Ross is unafraid to be serious and sincere, yes, but she's also delightfully unafraid of humour and moments of outright bathos. All conjured up with absolutely gorgeous, sensual, kaleidoscopic prose - seriously, the prose is good enough to eat, and not just the food descriptions (don't read this while hungry) - and a musical voice heavily influenced by Caribbean patios (Ross has admitted that she deliberately included a lot of references just for Caribbean readers, understandably (the title being one of them) but if you're not, don't worry, you can definitely still get the emotional resonacne of the story). Characters who feel real despite the surreality and who will stay with you for a long time. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for review. Longer review for The Nerd Daily to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    It feels a somewhat incongruent experience to finish reading This One Sky Day and have to leave the fictional archipelago Popisho, brimming in life and warmth to come back to a frost and snow ridden UK. I have never experienced reading a book quite like it and I was transfixed from the very start. This One Sky Day is filled with sensual imagery: the sounds of the islands, the descriptions of the taste of food and colour were extremely vivid which made the reading experience unique. It felt throu It feels a somewhat incongruent experience to finish reading This One Sky Day and have to leave the fictional archipelago Popisho, brimming in life and warmth to come back to a frost and snow ridden UK. I have never experienced reading a book quite like it and I was transfixed from the very start. This One Sky Day is filled with sensual imagery: the sounds of the islands, the descriptions of the taste of food and colour were extremely vivid which made the reading experience unique. It felt throughout that the landscape and its beauty was a preoccupation within the text. A place that can inspire admiration but can also change suddenly to something ominous and threating made the setting particularly vivid and compelling. The characters too all felt immediate and complex. The story centres around a single day in the lives of the Popisho community focussing primarily on Xavier and Anise. It is an exploration of how they, both in their separate ways, are dealing with trauma and attempting to reconcile it with their present day lives and contexts. Even though we are asked to focus on the relationship of these two central protagonists, other characters have stayed with me after reading it. The young Romanza Intisiar, an outcast of the society, but more in tune with his surroundings, felt particularly well drawn. A section of the text dedicated to the meeting and development of the relationship between Romanza and Xavier felt to be particularly poignant. How they were both marked by the occasion but at the same time were able to learn something about themselves illustrating ideas of acceptance and understanding. Magic too plays a central part within the novel, each character has Cors, a special gift that sets them apart. The exploration of this in relation to character motivation and its impact on the community made me laugh on so many occasions but it also felt incredibly heartfelt and touching at others. The ability to strike this balance makes me so excited to read more by Leone Ross.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    On this one sky day, there is infidelity to discover. On this one sky day, there is a wedding feast to prepare. On this one sky day, there is an addiction to fight, a message to paint and a storm brewing. There is a man with the power to imbue magic in his food. There are wings. Moths, butterflies. Wings not yet discovered. And there are people. Those on one side, and those on another, their eyes deep with nature and the history of a world that turned its back. And on this one sky day, when it r On this one sky day, there is infidelity to discover. On this one sky day, there is a wedding feast to prepare. On this one sky day, there is an addiction to fight, a message to paint and a storm brewing. There is a man with the power to imbue magic in his food. There are wings. Moths, butterflies. Wings not yet discovered. And there are people. Those on one side, and those on another, their eyes deep with nature and the history of a world that turned its back. And on this one sky day, when it rains, the world will begin again. There are novels which, when read the first time, sink into our minds and assault our senses. They creep into our ears with their cacophonous sounds, their taste rests on our tongue and we can feel the sweetness in the air they emanate. This is such a novel. Leone Ross has created a novel which is unapologetic in its breadth and vigour. Never has so much happened in one day, never such a journey travelled. I already know I’ll read it again, if only to relive the beautiful moments woven here. The way Ross creates the world of Popisho, from its customs, its magic, its cultures and its prejudices, is artful. This is a world which at once feels real and otherwordly, it’s characters at home in the earth and in the beyond. Dealing with issues of life and death, love and betrayal, hope and despair, beginnings and endings, the themes in this are expansive and left me mulling over my own feelings long after I put it down. And yet, unusually for me, I can also remember the tiny moments too – descriptions of hair, or of the way the sky looks. The handling of a moth in uncertain hands. It is rare for such small moments to stay with me after I’ve finished a novel, but these did. This is a novel which is loud and beautifully so. It amplifies the voices of its characters and each one is so vivid I could see them. I’m doing this novel so little justice in writing about it like this because I can’t put into words how incredible it is. You should just read it. Read it, then come and talk to me about it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Breanne Mc Ivor

    'On the first anniversary of his wife's death, Xavier Redchoose got up before light and went downstairs to salt the cod. He sat in his kitchen, green notebook in hand, rubbing his left thumb along the stained pages, waiting for delivery. Through the restaurant window, he could see the golden stalk of the fading moon. Around him, the Torn Poem was silent, except for the morning wind, making the front doors shiver. It was going to be a trying day, of that he was sure.' 🦋 But Xavier has no idea just 'On the first anniversary of his wife's death, Xavier Redchoose got up before light and went downstairs to salt the cod. He sat in his kitchen, green notebook in hand, rubbing his left thumb along the stained pages, waiting for delivery. Through the restaurant window, he could see the golden stalk of the fading moon. Around him, the Torn Poem was silent, except for the morning wind, making the front doors shiver. It was going to be a trying day, of that he was sure.' 🦋 But Xavier has no idea just how trying the day will be. This One Sky Day by Leone Ross takes place over a single day in the magical archipelago of Popisho. And boy, trying does not begin to describe what these characters go through. 🦋 Xavier braces himself to confront his wife's ghost, even as he admits that he always loved another woman. 🦋 But the woman Xavier loves is married to another man and she spends the day investigating his infidelity. 🦋 The Governor's daughter is getting married but she's a virgin who is deeply apprehensive about the thought of sex. Also, in an island where everyone is blessed with magical abilities, she has always been the only ordinary one. 🦋 Meanwhile the indigent of the island, a group of first peoples relegated to the literal fringes of society, are preparing to come to town. 🦋 And, in this extraordinary day, all women's vaginas fall out at exactly the same moment. 🦋 Believe me when I say that these descriptions barely ripple the surface of this world. Popisho is painted in deep and illuminating detail, both instantly recognizable as the Caribbean with all the political machinations and bachannal that characterise our islands and utterly unique in its traditions and its magic. 🦋 One of the things I am loving about Caribbean writing right now is the sheer variety. We've got crime fiction, YA, romance, the seriously literary, social commentary, short stories, so much poetry and now this, the most magical magical realism.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Literary Multitudes

    This book is AMAZING! Leone Ross - This One Sky Day. Everyone go and read it now! (Well, I'm actually not 100% sure that it really _is_ for everyone, but it's so, so good!) The following is a rave, not a review. This was definitely something new. Very light somehow, even though it's rather somber at times, the whole book felt like it was floating a few centimeters above ground. And reading this book I think I understand just a little bit the feeling of being drunk from butterflies. It is a readin This book is AMAZING! Leone Ross - This One Sky Day. Everyone go and read it now! (Well, I'm actually not 100% sure that it really _is_ for everyone, but it's so, so good!) The following is a rave, not a review. This was definitely something new. Very light somehow, even though it's rather somber at times, the whole book felt like it was floating a few centimeters above ground. And reading this book I think I understand just a little bit the feeling of being drunk from butterflies. It is a reading experience that transports you to a different plane. Not just the writing, the language is just incredible, sure and absolutely flawless. But it's also a completely different way of putting together words to create a world that somehow includes the reader. The novel is set during the span of one day. It's also nearly 500 pages, so you not only get different characters that you follow through the day, but also basically all of their history. So you often don't know for sure if what is happening is happening in the present moment, in a memory or whatever other level of the narration. I loved this and found it very immersive and enjoyed getting caught in the stream-like narrative. But I can imagine, that other readers might find this a bit difficult. The intense atmosphere, the immediacy of each moment,... everything about this glitters and shimmers with colors, sounds, smells and impressions. Every page opens before the reader like a kaleidoscopic box that leads you deeper into the novel and beyond its borders at the same time. It is superb! It is truly sparkling and absolutely amazing in what it does. Such a world, magic and fantastic, but so very close to reality at the same time. It's like the world had gotten a second layer of hidden things, pretty and dark and sparkling. Want more adjectives? I can't recall to have read a book that is just so very vibrant, it is electric and vivid and every other adjective. It creates a world that completely envelops you. What I think is, that this is an exceptional, unique and ultimately individual reading experience. The less you know about it, before you dive in, the better, I guess. Enjoy! Thanks to netgalley and Faber and Faber for providing an ARC. I then went and ordered a hardcover copy as soon as it was out, because this one I want to have in my collection permanently to return to again and again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I really don’t know what to make of this book except that maybe it’s just not my cup of tea. Magical realism can be a bit hit or miss for me as a genre. I couldn’t work out what it was trying to get across, but it was definitely interesting and very unusual. This One Sky Day is set in one day across a set of fictional islands named Popisho, where all of the inhabitants have a special ‘cors’, a unique magical ability that no one else has, whether it be an extra arm, the ability to see lies, or to I really don’t know what to make of this book except that maybe it’s just not my cup of tea. Magical realism can be a bit hit or miss for me as a genre. I couldn’t work out what it was trying to get across, but it was definitely interesting and very unusual. This One Sky Day is set in one day across a set of fictional islands named Popisho, where all of the inhabitants have a special ‘cors’, a unique magical ability that no one else has, whether it be an extra arm, the ability to see lies, or to flavour things with your hands, everything and anything goes and nobody judges, as cors are a gift from the gods, and thus special. We follow around a few different residents as they go about their lives, all of them dealing with a particular problem. The day is extremely weird, lots of uncomfortable, bizarre things happen, which is apparently par for the course in Popisho. In places the writing is rather poetic and lovely, but there were just so many unexplained bizarre things which happened, as far as I can tell without reason - for example the exploding bird. I didn’t come to feel any particular engagement with the characters or the events. Maybe it was clever but personally I just didn’t get this one. For this who enjoy magical realism, however, I think this might resonate - The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende would be a good comparison. I did like that it tackled some big subjects such as addiction, however. My thanks to #NetGalley and Faber and Faber for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nastya

    Now this one is a strange book. We are following 4 protagonists who live on the island and sometimes cross paths. They also have different magical abilities, everyone on the island does. So what happens next is 450 pages of wandering around, getting in some inconsequential situations, something weird happens and then the book ends. It was directionless and meandering. And when I’m saying weird, this is just a scene not connected to anything in the novel: In Pretty Town, a corpulent and very beautif Now this one is a strange book. We are following 4 protagonists who live on the island and sometimes cross paths. They also have different magical abilities, everyone on the island does. So what happens next is 450 pages of wandering around, getting in some inconsequential situations, something weird happens and then the book ends. It was directionless and meandering. And when I’m saying weird, this is just a scene not connected to anything in the novel: In Pretty Town, a corpulent and very beautiful grandmother came in from a strangely heavy breeze to rest in her hammock. She barely stirred as a tiny mongoose crept through the folds of her labia and into her womb, where it found what smelled so good: a sugary, blood-enriched lining. The mongoose ate its fill, inadvertently killing the grandmother, and when the dead woman sat up and her soul crept out onto the bed sheet, the mongoose ate that, too. Huh?... And also a big event in the book was all women’s genitals and vaginas falling out from their bodies. We are now in a position to put this to you: are you aware that approximately three hours ago, all adult Popisho females suffered a genital accident?’ ‘Wha-what – what –?’ ‘Their pum-pums fell off.’ Once again, huh? Would I recommend it? If you love slow and plotless books where a lot of things don’t make sense, give it a try, why not. The uniqueness other people mention, I appreciate it, although not maybe so random. But this book is definitely an experience.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Every once in awhile, I have the absolute privilege of running across a book that isn't just a book, its written art. Its a book so good the words run across your imagination and create such a beautiful piece you are truly sad when it ends. Welcome to Popisho. Here, everyone is born with magic, or cors. And everyone's cors is different. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation. His job is to cook each person one special meal once in their life. The meal is special only to that person an Every once in awhile, I have the absolute privilege of running across a book that isn't just a book, its written art. Its a book so good the words run across your imagination and create such a beautiful piece you are truly sad when it ends. Welcome to Popisho. Here, everyone is born with magic, or cors. And everyone's cors is different. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation. His job is to cook each person one special meal once in their life. The meal is special only to that person and it changes their lives in ways only it can. While we follow his story, so many other stories are woven in as well. In a land where you can get drunk on butterflies, love in a house that knows your every thought and moves and works around you, and the dead come back to settle their scores with the living, nothing is as it seems and everyone has a secret. This book will make yoh laugh, cry, and gasp out loud all with equal measure. This is truly a work of magical art that I'm so glad I had the chance to read it. My only complaint is now ghat I've read it I can't go back and read it again for the first time. Five huge stars only because that's all the stars were allowed. Thank you to NetGalley, Leone Ross, and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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