Review: The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan


How far would you go for the one you love the most? The clever tagline that graces the front cover of The Atlas of Us makes you instantly think of far off places and adventures but it also means how much would you do for those you love.

For Louise Fenton this means travelling halfway across the world to a disaster area to find her mother Nora who was in Thailand when the tsunami struck.

Meanwhile, Jay, a journalist is looking for his friend Claire Shreve who was also there on that fateful day. Both of the ladies seem to be connected but neither Jay nor Louise knows how. It is through Louise’s determination and desperation to find her mother that this heartbreaking family mystery gets uncovered.


It has been an awfully long while since a writer has had my pulse racing but that is exactly what Tracy Buchanan’s The Atlas of Us managed to do. The drama and drive of this novel created a feeling of panic and urgency within me as I read from chapter to chapter, voraciously talking in the story and getting mad at my own eyes for not being able to read any more quickly.

The storylines were so delicately woven and each time a new plot twist happened I was genuinely shocked; I didn’t see any of them coming and, believe me, there were plenty to choose from. The characters, though each ultimately flawed in some way were easy to root for. For example, Milo seemed so beaten by life, constantly trying to do right by everyone but ultimately letting himself down; Louise just wanted to fix the past but time and ultimately a natural disaster prevented her from doing so.

Overall, The Atlas of Us does everything a good book is supposed to do. It held my attention, it had me genuinely worried for the outcome of the characters – heck it even had me cheering them on to bigger and better things and Buchanan managed to take me to far off distant places that I have no other way of knowing. I travelled with this book from the confines of my own bedroom. The Atlas of Us is a truly accomplished novel.

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan is available now.

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