A New Map Of The Universe - Annabel Smith
A New Map of the Universe by Annabel Smith is a novel about the silences within and between people. The title comes from a wonderful sentence, “He gave her a new map of the universe and then he left her to navigate her way through it alone.” (p. 65)

Annabel writes in a spare poetic language. Initially, I found the use of present tense distracting, but it does give a sense of immediacy. You are invited into the character’s personal world.

The opening is strong, seducing the reader (and Grace, the heroine) with stories of the stars and with the intensity of a new love affair. The ending balances the opening and together they pin the structure of the book.

On a personal note (and probably not belonging in a review), I enjoyed the mention of Teresa of Avila. I admire her books, how her personality crosses centuries and translation from the original Spanish.

A New Map of the Universe is a lovely book with a strong sense of place.