Top positive review
This book was painful, and beautiful, and it will haunt me for days!!!
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2017
I need to say up front here that this is the third major revision I've made to this review, all of which came about because of my concern that the sexual content of this book wasn't being represented correctly. There is a big difference between erotica and non-descriptive intimacy, and since no one's cutoff is the same, I think it's important to be clear about which a book contains. However, my review hasn't been the only one to be edited now, and I agree completely with what has been stated in other reviews. They are absolutely spot on!!! This book was haunting, and beautiful, and painful. It was unforgettable. And I very much want to get to the reasons why I found it to be so utterly captivating, but since sex is the opening topic, I just want to get that out of the way.
There is an intense focus on intimacy in this book. Not only is there an intense focus on intimacy, but there are often times darker components, as there are darker components to the entire book. This is NOT a light read. But I would like to make it clear that this isn't erotica. It's one step up from "fade to black". That may bother some, and in that case they absolutely should be warned!!! However, erotica and non-graphic intimacy are not the same thing.
Don't misunderstand, intimacy IS a big part of this book, and there IS some mild description, but at no point does it become an erotica novel. As a side note, there is no language at all, not even garden variety.
And now with all that being said, I'd really like to get to at least some of the reasons why this book so captivated me. It so captivated me because of its beautifully lyrical prose, set against the backdrop of life's pain, in a distant world brought to vivid life. I knew from the first paragraph of the sample chapters that this book would be my kindle first choice for the month, but at the time I didn't realize just how much of a tragedy it would be. Nor did I realize how haunting and enthralling I would find it. There is SO much loss in this book. Death, suicide, loss of self and family... And yet each time I thought it was finally too much and I was done, the haunting prose pulled me back in again.
I have called the writing in other books beautiful, but none of them have been the same as this. This book is something other. Something different. It was beautiful, and painful, and most of all hypnotic. I almost stopped reading more times than I cared to count, but for that same number of times I couldn't put it down. I couldn't let go. I spent most of the book closer to tears than I'm ever publicly going to admit in a review, and to that same end, refuse to discuss the last chapters... Or how I felt as I read them.
In all the revisions I've made to this review I've come to fear that I've lost my original emotion. This isn't the review I wrote when I felt most passionate. That review conveyed so much more of the painful beauty I found in this book, but it is what it is, and I made the choice to revise it. But, if you love dramas, tragedies, and endings that will haunt you long after you've finished, then take a chance on this book.
Last of all, I leave my favorite passage: "Life doesn't end, my daughter. It flows forever, like the river. Except that you're in a boat now, and you're the one holding the oars."