The Comet Seekers is the first novel by Helen Sedgwick and I absolutely loved it. The blurb on Goodreads says it is "One Day meets The Time Travellers Wife" but that ain't the book I read. I mean those are enjoyable books, but this had a much different feeling to it.
Told across moments in history when comets could be seen from the earth, we meet the past and present family members of Francois, who grows up in France, and Roisin, who grows up in Ireland. Beginning on a research trip in the Antarctic, where Roisin and Francois first meet, we are taken back through their histories to Roisin's childhood in a small Irish village spent gazing out to the stars with her cousin, and Francois' childhood in Bayeux with his mother, who talks to the ghosts of their ancestors.
There are characters who feel too linked to their homes to leave, and characters who feel compelled to get out and explore the world. A book of comets and ghosts, staying and leaving, looking to the skies and looking to the earth. Also there's a chapter that features Blackford Hill, which I grew up next to, so that felt special. A perfect autumnal/winter read. Can't wait to see what comes next from Helen Sedgwick!