The Opening Sky is the story of a family with one foot in the counterculture and the other in the good life. Liz is a restless, energetic woman who manages a beautiful house and a non-profit agency with panache. Aiden is a therapist trying to manage his own anxieties. Sylvie is a university student and an activist, more than happy to stick her fingers into the fault lines in her parents’ thinking.
A situation with Sylvie’s new boyfriend upsets the family’s uneasy equilibrium. Noah has complicated ties to the family’s past, and as the novel opens, Liz, Aiden and Sylvie are confronted with a crisis that asks all three of them to revise their fundamental notions of who they are in the world.
— “The Opening Sky is a marvel. In rich, meticulously woven prose, Joan Thomas confronts the painful paradoxes at the heart of a family, and reports back on both the darkness and the light. This is a contemporary narrative, fully-wired with eco-anxiety and intergenerational strife, yet somehow a sense of the mythic pervades the tale. Thomas charts the labyrinthine intricacies of marriage and parenthood as, together and separately, the Glasgow-Phimisters endure the lose of the ‘old consolations’ and struggle towards something new. I loved this book. It thrilled me with its fierce portrayal of how we strive and fail and sometimes even manage to love.” – Alissa York