I got my copy of The Journey by Francesca Sanna a few weeks ago and I have been glued to it ever since. Emotionally intelligent, visually stunning and extremely topical, Francesca’s debut Flying Eye Book already has me hoping for a sequel!
The star of The Journey is it’s heartwarming and poignant plot which was inspired by the real-life journey’s of many immigrants who Francesca interviewed whilst researching the book. In the author’s notes, Francesca explains why she thought they were important stories to reimagine and tell.
"Almost every day in the news we hear the terms “migrants” and “refugees” but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them."
- Francesca Sanna
The result of this collaging of stories centres around a family who, after losing everything in a dark war, say goodbye to everything they know and look to find a safer place to call home. Contrasting yet perfectly complimenting the book’s serious subject matter, is the fantastical way in which the story is told. Seeping darkness and giant, fearsome men represent the troubled path the characters’ journey takes whilst majestic, overgrown animals show the hope and curiosity for the new life they are seeking.
The book’s aesthetic is simply stunning too. It is one of those books that makes you want to buy a second copy just so that you can dismantle it and use it to decorate your walls. Most noteworthy is the book’s ever-changing and emotive colour palette. Tightening the book’s pull at the heart-strings, the colour scheme is thrown from calm, summery shades into deep black as the family’s lives are turned upside down. As the journey commences, dark, unknown tones and frantic burst of terrifying oranges gradually fade back to calmer, recognisable shades as they find more comfortable and welcoming lands.
I try not to use this phrase as I feel it’s overuse has made it a little bit of a cliché but The Journey truly is a stroke of pure genius. Francesca’s refreshing, humanitarian perspective on the “immigration crisis” is sure to enlighten readers of all ages. In fact, if we all took a leaf out of this modern classic then maybe by the time we are passing it down to the next generation then the negative media impressions it speaks out against will be a thing of the past.
You can order a copy of The Journey here