Based on real family events, Danny Scheinmanns novel paints a dramatic portrait of two apparently unconnected epic love stories.
1992: Traveling through South America with his girlfriend, Leo wakes up in a hospital to find his girlfriend is dead. He blames himself for the tragedy and is sucked into a spiral of despair. But a surprising secret leads Leo to discover something that will change his life forever.
1917: Moritz is a POW fugitive, with seven thousand kilometers of the Russian steppes separating him from his first love, whose memory has kept him alive through carnage and captivity. The war may be over, but he now faces a perilous journey and the insecurity of whether his love is still waiting.
A visit to Scheinmann's website reveals his inspirations and motivations, as he remarks, "To tell a love story is one thing, (it's all very nice, been done a million times, never fails) but is it possible to go deeper in to the psyche of the reader and move them far more profoundly?" Using his ideas about oral storytelling and the subconscious, he seeks to engage the rational mind of the reader with discussions of quantum physics and scientific phenomenon, and loosen his or her emotional response to the more elusive concepts of love and loss.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost a loved one and struggled to make sense of the "Why?" (Reviewed by Vy Armour).
While at times predictable and prosaic, the mutually reinforcing narratives ultimately convey debut novelist Scheinmann's message of the redemptive power of love.
Dotted with strange scientific trivia, this beautiful debut novel provides deft moments of poignancy and surprise.
Library Journal - Jim Coan
Absorbing and emotionally engaging, this novel, evidently popular in England, should have broad appeal and is recommended for collections that have a demand for quality historical fiction and moving human interest stories.
"Scheinmann's debut is tender and insightful, weaving together the lives of two men who have nothing in common except the parallel passions of hope and grieving and their refusal to give up searching.
The Sunday Express
Really is as special as its press suggests ... beautifully told ... an amazingly assured debut.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by PDXReader Beautifully written novel in all respects The chapters that follow Moritz Daniecki’s WWI exploits are marvelous historical fiction. They’re rich in detail without bogging down. His story is the more entertaining one, something like the story of Odysseus - without the gods and monsters... Read More
There have been many observations of elephants grieving. In Joyce
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one of the elephants fell over. Soon enough the other elephants noticed that one
of their group was in trouble. Arriving by the elephant's side, they realized
she was not moving. They attempted to get her up on her feet but to no avail.
The elephants then left the dead body and moved on. The next day, elephants
returned to mourn and pay homage to the lost friend, family member, clan member
and elephant. As observed by Poole, when an elephant walks past a place that a
loved one died he/she will stop dead still; a silent and empty pause that can
last several minutes.
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