Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pre-review of The Book of Life

Let’s consider this my pre-review of Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, as I’ve been asked to not post a real review until the book is released on July 15.  I’m okay with that because it’s going to take me a while to put together something  a bit more intelligent than, “OMG, I loved it!  You must read this!”  That being said, I did love it, and you really should read it.  But anyway, I digress.

Instead of telling you about the book right now, I’m going to instead tell you about how much I wanted to read this book:

Sunday afternoon, I had a strange, horrible pain in my head.  I have headaches and migraines all the time, but this was something different.  This felt as if there were something small burrowing its way through my head.  For about twenty minutes, I was convinced I was dying.  I thought maybe it was a stroke or aneurysm.  I imagined that the burrowing I felt was a blood clot moving through my head, ready to shut down my brain.  I know this all sounds a bit melodramatic, but it was really bad.

I wondered if this was the sort of pain that I should call 911 about, but decided against that because I wasn’t entirely sure of the location of my insurance card.  And even with insurance, if I survived the pain, I’d wish I was dead after I got the hospital bills.  So I remained on my bed, in the dark, unable to move, my head hurting so much, death would have been welcome at that point.

My life sort of flashed before me.  You know, the way it does when you’re on an airplane and the turbulence is so intense, you’re convinced you’re never going to see land again.  You start making mental lists of things you should have done, meant to do, wish you hadn’t put off until later, grimacing about all the loose ends you never got around to tying up.  Everyone does that, right?  It isn’t just me, is it?  Whatever. Anyway.

As I waited for the end, preparing those lists, I’m glad to say I don’t have a lot of items on my list.  And that’s by design.  I make a point of doing what I want to do, rather than waiting for someday.  So that’s all good.  I’ve traveled, I’ve met people, I’ve done things. 

The first big regret that popped into my aching head:  Damn it, I’m never going to find out what happens to Diana and Matthew. 

Seriously, people, that’s what I thought.  And it upset me, because oh, to wait so long, only to have my head burst a month before the book is released. 

I love these characters so much.  Also, I’d recently finished listening to Shadow of Night, the second book in the trilogy, and so they’ve been very much on my mind.

Well, obviously, I didn’t die.  That was on Sunday, and now we’re in the early hours of Thursday morning and I seem very much alive.  I have no idea what caused that pain in my head.  Even after the initial pain passed, I remained on the bed for a couple of hours, afraid to move.  And my head is still sore in that particular spot and sometimes I have a twinge of sharp pain, but clearly, whatever it was wasn’t life ending. 

But my head is not the important part of this story.  I’m sharing this story to demonstrate that sometimes magic happens.  Sometimes the Universe listens and understands just how much you want something and the Goddess decides to smile on you.

Monday afternoon, I was checking my email and saw an email from NetGalley saying I’d been approved to receive an advance copy of Book of Life.  I was in my bedroom when I read this.  I cheered loudly – in my empty house – and then I’m pretty sure I skipped/ran down the hall to get to my computer to accept the book and have it sent to my Kindle.  Then I spent the next two days reading.  

You know how sometimes you want something so bad, and then you get it and it isn’t that great? – not the case here!  Instead, it was every bit as great as I’d hoped, maybe even better – and I had very high hopes.  Such a good book. 

I finished reading it Tuesday night.  Then I spent Wednesday in a bit of a daze, wondering what I’m supposed to do next.  Already missing these characters.  But it’s okay, because I can revisit them when I want, I know where they are – stored safely on my kindle.  Plus, I’ve got some pretty big travel plans in the near future - like next week - that will allow me to visit the areas where the story took place – Oxford, London, France. 

But yes, point of all this being, my life is now complete, for the moment at least.  And in my mind, it makes the title, Book of Life, seem even more appropriate.  

Actual review to be posted July 15.  

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