The Boundless Sublime
Lili Wilkinson, Switch Press (MARCH) Hardcover $17.95 (352pp), 978-1-63079-100-1
A disturbing look into how grief makes you susceptible to being taken advantage of, The Boundless Sublime is the story of girl who attempts to overcome one tragedy by barreling headlong into another.
Mere months after a travesty tears her family apart, Ruby is struggling to stay numb. Those around her pretend everything is normal, treat her like glass, and wait for her to snap out of it. When she meets Fox, she is able to rise above the darkness. Spending time with him makes her feel whole again. He’s naive and unjaded, in contrast to Ruby and her cynical friends.
But being with Fox comes at a price. He is from a community that lives by its own rules, governed by a man called Daddy. Much about the cult seems strange to Ruby, though she also sees something sensible in its ways. Unwilling to lose Fox, Ruby immerses herself in his world.
Ruby’s introduction to Fox’s world is slow at first, before she allows herself to fully tumble in; readers will experience the same shift. The first parts of the book are dominated by apprehension; once Ruby is in, abject horror takes its place.
As Ruby grieves and attempts to navigate her post-tragedy world, she inspires feelings of protectiveness. When she falls into Daddy’s clutches, her loss evokes panic. Wilkinson has created a character whom the reader can not only live through, but also step outside of and care for.
Concern for Ruby and Fox makes the story all the more fascinating. The cult’s acts are terrifying, and that they happen to such relatable characters makes the book doubly powerful.
With its intricate plot and compelling characters, The Boundless Sublime is a tale that will remain in the reader’s mind long after the final page is turned.