Hi all! Welcome to this Quick Bite, this will be a short review of the novel The Voyage of the White Cloud by M. Darusha Wehm.
Can home be a place you’ve never been, a place no one has ever been?
The White Cloud is the most audacious experiment the human species has ever undertaken—to search for a new Earth. The ship and its crew exist for a solitary purpose—to reach a distant planet and establish a colony. However, the vast majority of people undertaking this journey will not live to see its result, nor were they part of the decision-making process to leave.
A novel-in-stories, following the many generations who make the journey, The Voyage of the White Cloud asks how you can find meaning as a slave to destiny, a mere stepping-stone in history.
These are the stories of the most ordinary people on a most extraordinary journey.
About the Author
M. Darusha Wehm
Darusha writes speculative fiction and poetry as M. Darusha Wehm and mainstream work as Darusha Wehm, and is the author of eleven published novels, several poems and many short stories. Originally from Canada, Darusha currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years sailing around the Pacific.
So I’ve officially found a new favorite author! 😍 Honestly the summary and cover are a bit dry compared to the substance of this text. I felt so much reading this novel. This novel made me question a lot of my thoughts and attitudes, both good and bad.
This novel is a series of thematically and historically shared short stories. I really love that these slices of history feature the small, “unimportant” people. Traditional grand historical scale stories tend to involve a lot of big names. Its something I’ve been thinking about lately, how we prize big names over individuals and the negative things it can do to society overall. It creates a false mythos that only important people change history when regular people do as well. This books really articulates on this in such a thoughtful way. Its awesome to see the butterfly effect of people’s actions/interactions and how they accumulate over the history of the ship. 🤗
There is such a diversity of characters, both in marginalized categories and just in the general behaviors and attitudes of people. I really loved it and generally liked most people. But even when I didn’t like a character, I appreciated the story they had to tell. This novel is ultimately about the human experience. What if generations of people were trapped on a starship and couldn’t freeze themselves to sleep? Some people would love it, some people would hate it, it would be a mixed bag for most. This “normal” approach to people is something I really treasure in stories.
Also over centuries things would change drastically. Things one generation would find ground-breaking would be forgotten in another era. Mythologies over the original generation would develop and become fantastic. The way the ship’s people are organized would change, and the reasons would be lost to history. History would be rewritten to avoid embarrassment of the current head, etc. This novel is excellent at explaining why people do things and how this affects the grand scale of history.
I think my overall favorite part was when we finally see the Crew. I don’t want to spoil too much but I felt so seen. Usually wanting your own space is seen as evil or selfish, but here its just another part of the human condition.
I’m still thinking over the major theme of this story. The final lines of the book (before the poem) were a major emotional gut punch. But then I think of what occurred before then and here I am, still thinking. Honestly the final story paragraph might be my favorite words ever written in a story.
So, I highly recommend this if you like emotional Science Fiction. And also if you are okay with constantly shifting points of view, every chapter is a new person.
Opinions on what I just read or the author’s other works? Any similar recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by this Quick Bite. Hope to see you again!