Review: We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut

Title: We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves.”

Rob Coates feels like he’s won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob’s world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.


We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut is a poignant novel about a family’s devastating health diagnosis.

Rob and Anna Coates are happily married with a delightful young son, Jack. Rob is a computer programmer who works from home and takes care of Jack. Anna works in finance and while she loves Jack, she is more structured than fun-loving Rob. Jack is delightful little boy who is a bit of a miracle child since Rob and Anna suffered a couple of miscarriages before Jack’s birth. Rob and Anna’s happy life comes to crashing halt following a stunning health crisis which tests the bonds of their marriage.

Unsurprisingly, Rob and Anna react very differently to the health crisis and its aftermath. Rob wants to try anything possible whereas Anna is more pragmatic and relies on conventional medicine. Rob’s insistence in going through with unproven and possibly dangerous treatment  puts them at odds especially since Anna is resigned to the ultimate outcome when they are out of treatment options.

The differences in their personalities also leads to completely opposite ways of coping with this unexpected crisis. Anna is rather stoic and relies on keeping busy to deal with adversity. Rob turns to alcohol to cope and this is what ultimately drives them apart.  With the passage of time, will Rob give up his dependence of alcohol to numb his emotions?

Written from Rob’s perspective, We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut is an emotionally compelling novel that is absolutely captivating.  The characters are fully developed with all too human frailties and their varying reactions to a crushing blow ring true. An outstanding debut, this deeply affecting novel is sure to touch readers’ hearts and will linger in their minds long after the last page is turned.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Luke Allnut, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, We Own the Sky, Women's Fiction

One Response to Review: We Own the Sky by Luke Allnut

  1. Wow! This sounds like an incredible book. I can see how something like this could really pull a couple apart at a time when they should be coming together.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!