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.
THE MIND AFTER A SHARP BLOW TO THE HEAD IS LIKE A HOUSE after a hurricane:
unrecognizable shards, shreds and splinters.
Fragments of memory lie scattered in the wreckage. All the pieces are there, somewhere but the landscape is so distorted that, stumbling across them, the brain has no idea what they are or where they are from.
'Where is Eleni?'
'Muerta,' says the doctor.
Leo's eyes close, he is oddly calm watching the bomb hurtle towards him. One last look before he is swept away. He searches his mind and does not recognize the view. A thick fog smothers everything; he can just make out a few faintly familiar shapes. Muerta. He already knows she is dead. At the point of asking he had no idea but when he hears the answer it sounds like the confirmation of a memory he can't seem to bring to his mind. Something lurches out of the blur into sharp focus. Eleni. Droplet brown eyes, rich mane of ebony curls, bundle of electric energy, singing....
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).
Full Review (782 words).
Animal Behaviors in Grief and Mating
There have been many observations of elephants grieving. In Joyce Poole's Coming of Age With Elephants, Poole illustrates the depth of elephant grieving. A clan of elephants was moving towards newer territory, when suddenly 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 ...
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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