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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

The cover of Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

There are books that you can’t put down. Then there are books that linger with you after you’ve finished them. This book is both.

It’s made up from a collection of journal entries from someone called Piranesi.

The world Piranesi lives in is a house filled with statues. It’s surrounded by the sea and has three levels: The lower halls are the domain of the tides; that’s where Piranesi gets nutrition. The upper halls are the domain of the clouds; he collects rainwater there. The middle halls are where he lives.

There is only one other person alive in the house: The Other. Piranesi and the Other meet every Tuesday and every Friday, and Piranesi helps the Other find the hidden knowledge in the house.

One day, Piranesi finds out that there is someone new in the house: 16 is writing him messages in chalk. Slowly, but surely, Piranesi unravels the mysteries of the house and himself.

The Beautify of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.

We read this book in our book club at work, and it was always difficult to not keep reading past the point we agreed upon.

Every time I picked it up, I felt immersed in the world of the house and how Piranesi sees it. I wanted to solve the mysteries, and sporadically, I wanted to shake him (especially when he was erasing potentially crucial messages).

Seriously, go read this book.