4 out of 5 Stars
Originally penned in Nina George’s native German in 2016, it will hit US shelves in English this April.
Sam was born to Henri and Marie-France, war reporters who met among turmoil and sadness, and whom conceived Sam one night in moments of desperation for longing of normalcy and a need to fill a loneliness. Sam is 13, and a synesthete. He has more sensory receptors than other people, he sees sounds, voices, and music as colors. When he enters a room, he can tell which emotions have been felt in it most frequently.
He is part of the elite high IQ society, Mensa, and his parents are no longer together. That is why he secretly invited his dad to come to his school event that day. Sam could not tell Marie-France he had invited Henri. She is a wounded woman, hell-bent on keeping out of harm’s way after working as a photographer in war zones for years. Sam cannot bring himself to hurt her. In fact, he wants to protect her from everything and tell her how much he loves her, but does not know how to go about it. He feels like all she sees when she looks at him is the kid who never looks anyone in the eye, reads too much science fiction, and is a permanent reminder of a man she can’t stand.
When Sam witnesses Henri risk his life to save a little girl’s, Maddie, and winds up in a coma, the story becomes one of missed opportunities, and life’s haunting questions. Will Henri and Maddie survive their comas? Will Sam be able to reach them with his gift through their coma hazes? Henri’s ex, Edwina (Eddie), plays a big role here too, as his emergency contact, the doctor’s and Sam are looking to her for decisions to be made. She cannot believe Henri has a son he never told her about, after all their years together. At times unbelievably sad, at times uproariously hopeful, Nina George has penned a great novel full of all the emotions that keep great novels with us years after we put them down.
Quotes I loved:
“…I am here. I breathe, and with each exhalation, I seek to blow my anxiety somewhere far over the horizon, to the ends of the earth…I decide not to be scared and I blow my fear a long, long way away.” ~Eddie
“Don’t think. Follow the image you see inside you and slowly re-create it with your voice. Don’t search for words to capture your pain and your consolation. Seek out a place and sing it.” ~Eddie’s Father
“He’s a precious cargo, the son of the man who was my sun and my moon. Who was with me as I breathes and slept, a fount of desire and tenderness.” ~Eddie
“That’s the magic of literature. We read a story, and something happens. We don’t know what or why, nor which sentence was responsible, but the world has changed and will never be the same again.” ~Eddie
“”That’s how you confront a challenge that seems overwhelming at first. That’s how you manage.” Shrink the world, be precise; pay no heed to the long night before you but only to the next moment. That’s what he told me. “You must follow the path to the very end to get an overview of the whole journey, Edwina.””~Eddie’s Father
“So this is the meaning of life. For the first time I understand men who don’t leave their families, even when they’ve fallen out of love with their wives. It’s because of these little people. These pure little people. Loving them is so simple and incurable.”~Henri
~*All the Love of Books From Me to You <3*~