“When I am optimistic, I choose to believe that every life I lead, every choice I make, has consequence. That I am not one Harry August but many, a mind flicking from parallel life to parallel life, and that when I die, the world carries on without me, altered by my deeds, marked by my presence.”
I wasn't sure how I would find this book, I thought it sounded similar in concept to Life After Life, as I mentioned here. I got more into this book as I went along, and was really engaged with it by the end. As with Life After Life, something about the repeating life plot wasn't overly appealing to me, but I felt this novel addressed it differently and it caught my imagination more. I have handed this one on to The Husband, as I definitely think this would appeal to him.
"I have an awful feeling I’m supposed to know, and that this is some kind of treat. I don’t think it’s my birthday, but perhaps an anniversary. Patrick’s death? It would be just like Helen to remember and make it a “special occasion.” But I can see from the bare trees out on the street that it’s the wrong time of year. Patrick died in the spring."
I thought this book was fabulously written, with an excellent plot. It was such an interesting concept to have the narrator as someone in the early stages of dementia, and the overlapping timelines were really effective. It was written in a really empathetic way, with moments of dark humour, but also a really captivating presentation of the experience of being affected by the condition.
"Melanie thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You've already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago."
This is absolutely not a book I would ever have picked, it was one The Husband bought me having read good reviews, and I was so glad he did. It was absolutely gripping, I couldn't put this down, and it was one of those books that actually made me look forward to the commute just to carry on reading it. It is apparently being turned into a film and that doesn't surprise me.
My first book of April, which may, ahem, actually already be finished thanks to an Easter Sunday afternoon reading in the sunshine, is Us by David Nicholls, writer of Starter for Ten and One Day.
Linking up with Laura's The Year in Books Project