Lucas – Kevin Brooks. A decade later…

Ok, so this book is almost ten years old (I know – I couldn’t believe it either) but one more review couldn’t hurt- could it? And also, I have my suspicions that a lot of you haven’t even heard of Lucas, which seriously worries me. A book this good must be made known! So alas, alack, a review is coming your way, whether you like it or not.

At the risk of repeating myself, Lucas was written nearly a decade ago, but you wouldn’t know it, honest! The writing is contemporary, the themes, timeless and the storyline so poignant that a mere hanky would not suffice as an absorber for all that uncontrollable blubbing you’ll be doing. Think more along the lines of a king-sized duvet or sponge the width of a small vehicle.

Chapter one introduces us to the protagonist Caitlin McCann, a quiet fifteen year old girl who lives in Hale, a small island off the coast of Cornwall. She is an earthy character (a bit of a po-faced one, if you ask me) who has seemingly outgrown her old friends and lifestyle. Although, despite this, she sports plumes – which I have decoded to mean ‘bun bunches’ – you know, that classic hairstyle that  screams maturity…  Anyway, to summarise, Caitlin is a little irksome and self-righteous but she is a means to a beautiful end, that being Lucas.

Caitlin’s island is connected to the mainland via a causeway, which is often flooded in bad weather, thus cutting off the island from civilisation. It is along this stretch of road that a lot of the drama happens, starting with the first sighting of the fine specimen, Lucas. He has an air of mystique about him, or so Caitlin would have you believe, but perhaps she is just so bowled over by his boyish good looks that she convinces herself he must, in fact, be some kind of God or divine being. Easy mistake to make…

When Caitlin finally manages to corner Lucas, she finds out little more about him, than the fact that he drifts from place to place and rarely stays for long, at that. I know, I know, clichéd, but a perfect excuse for a fleeting and charming little romance. Admittedly the story would be a bit lacking and two-dimensional if this was the be all and end all, and so luckily author, Kevin Brooks, added a bit more to the mix by incorporating some hard-core conflict between enigmatic Lucas and the narrow-minded, bigoted community that inhabit Hale.

Brooks weaves delicate matters into the plot as deftly as Harper Lee did in To Kill A Mockingbird, and if you have read Lee’s novel you’ll notice a lot of similarities. You could even go as far as to match up some of the characters in each relative novel based on their likeness. Lucas is also somewhat reminiscent of that ol’ Billy Shakespeare’s novel Romeo and Juliet, what with its sinister undertones and the same Almost Tainted Atmosphere that is present from the very beginning. An atmosphere which suggests that, something not altogether too pleasant, is lurking right around the corner. It’s this very style of writing that makes Lucas so un-put-down-able. Admittedly this book does hop, skip and jump over the figurative border and into the realms of pretention, but for you hipsters out there I shouldn’t think this’d be a problem. You can just cackle ironically with your mates at the flowery, decorative language, and lampoon the Kristen Stewart-like protagonist with gusto, only to secretly re-read it a thousand more times, sobbing hysterically with each inevitable ending, just like I did!

Convinced yet? In all seriousness, Lucas truly is an excellent and unforgettable book, so come on guys, put that sorry excuse for literature Twilight in a faraway place and get yourselves down to Waterstone’s toot-sweet! Lucas won’t wait around forever remember, he’s a wandering soul *Smitten Sigh*

“Gypsies haven’t been this attractive since Chocolat.”

[Yuppee Mag’s Celia Dineley]

Click to comment
To Top