This is a quintessential example of a great book. It’s the kind of book that if someone told you they were after a new book to read, you’d say try this one and I think this comes down to the versatility of the plot. It’s got a bit of mystery, a bit of crime, a bit of soul searching and a bit of unconditional love, so it’s likely to appeal to a large audience of book lovers. One huge disadvantage of this book is the toll it will take on your sleep time because it will make you stay up that little bit longer….
The story is about a four year old boy called Noah, who is the reincarnation of a boy called Tommy, because of this Noah is extremely distressed. Janie; his poor mother, has tried everything to help Noah and who can blame her… this kid screams for his other mother in public, talks about being shot and drowned and has a hatred of baths. When she discovers Professor Jerome Anderson who is researching reincarnation cases, Janie hopes that the Professor will be able to help slot things into place but poor Anderson has his own problems – he’s been diagnosed with aphasia which is slowly taking away his ability to speak as word by word vanishes from his memory.
The Professor agrees to take Noah on as his final case and the clock is ticking as he races to find Tommy’s family before he loses all his words. Meanwhile… the book also tells the story of Tommy’s family, particularly focusing on the mother and brother and how they’re unable to let go of the memory of Tommy. The flicking back and forth between the two families built up the momentum perfectly as I waited for the two stories to collide…. and when they did there was a sense of relief, fear and a new direction for the tale.
Whilst all this is happening, there are extracts dotted through the book with tales of similar cases that have been documented in real life and I enjoyed reading these as they provided a level of factual substance to the plot.
This was a well thought out plot – you could tell ample amounts of research had gone into this book, it didn’t have the usual first novel immaturity and it had a clear beginning, middle and end. I liked that Guskin structured the book so that the characters were able to find closure after the book climax.
I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to step outside of their usual genre and discover a unique story.
Until next time, Chloé x