Invisible Sun | Critical Book Review

Invisible Sun by Andrew H. Housley, published by Atmosphere Press, thrusts readers into an intense and raw exploration of trauma and grief. While undoubtedly beautiful in its rendering, the novel navigates through emotionally taxing terrain, prompting reflection on its profound themes.

Unveiling the Traumatic Tapestry

The narrative unfolds with Ian confronting the haunting scene of his brother Hugo’s suicide, vividly depicted with lingering bloodstains. As Ian grapples with the emotional aftermath, the story exposes the practical and emotional challenges he faces, from arranging cleaners to dealing with the morgue and the family home. The relentless question of “why” looms large, intensifying the tumultuous emotional landscape. In parallel, Chadwick, another brother, resorts to a façade of nonchalance, using alcohol as a numbing agent while projecting an outward image of indifference.

Familial Dynamics and the Shadow of Tyranny

Delving into the intricate dynamics among the three brothers, the narrative unveils a shared history of abuse and control imposed by their tyrannical father. The escape routes each brother takes—Hugo breaking free, Chadwick seeking refuge in Los Angeles, and Ian attempting academic pursuits—paint a complex picture. The father’s blame intensifies Ian’s burden, weaving a web of familial trauma that forms the emotional core of the narrative, inviting readers to empathize with their profound struggles.

Navigating the Weighty Themes

Invisible Sun unflinchingly addresses the complexities of loss, guilt, and despair, delving into the multifaceted personalities of the characters. The novel skillfully intertwines philosophy, emotions, and the human psyche when faced with death, encapsulated in the haunting notion that “the dead have it easy.” While emotionally taxing, these weighty themes offer valuable insights into the human experience in the face of profound loss.

Intellectual Depth and Whimsy Amidst the Heaviness

The book introduces intellectual depth and occasional whimsy to enrich character dynamics. Captivating dialogues infuse a philosophical dimension into relationships, and unique word choices add occasional respite from the prevailing heaviness, redirecting attention to the distinctive personalities rather than the oppressive events.

Conclusion: A Captivating and Evocative Exploration

Invisible Sun emerges as a captivating and evocative exploration of the complexities of grief and the enduring impact of trauma. For those willing to confront its weighty subject matter, it offers a poignant and thought-provoking journey into the intricacies of human emotion and resilience.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressLiterary Fiction172 pages9798891320260

Invisible Sun by Andrew H. Housley, published by Atmosphere Press, thrusts readers into an intense and raw exploration of trauma and grief. While undoubtedly beautiful in its rendering, the novel navigates through emotionally taxing terrain, prompting reflection on its profound themes. Unveiling the Traumatic Tapestry The narrative unfolds with Ian confronting the haunting scene of…