01. This is easily one of the most original stories I’ve read. Ever.
02. At first I thought some of the writing was a little twee. Then I changed my mind – it’s lovely.
“When he was sixteen, his mother died. What do women who have drunk chamomile tea each night before bed, believed in invisible forces and played Chopin études before breakfast die of? A falling tree in a storm.”
03. This is art-lit but at a whole new level. It’s about performance, music, architecture, noise, silence, what constitutes art, what constitutes meaning, what evokes a reaction.
“I think art saves people all the time.”
04. This book is enhanced by some knowledge of Marina Abramovic’s vast body of work. I was fortunate to see a retrospective of her work at MONA a few years ago but short of that, good starting points can be found here, here and here. And when you’ve finished the book, this one.
05. There are so many themes in this book and Rose has pulled off the near impossible – it seems simple but it is in fact an incredibly complex story about love, grief, bravery and understanding what matters.
“…if I dare be so bold as to give advice – which I know men always hate – you should try with everything you have. I just hate seeing love go to waste.”
06. It might win the Stella Prize.
4.5/5 I’ll be thinking about this book for quite some time.
“She began spreading a sliver of toast on her plate with parfait. She bit into it and the toast crunched between her teeth. The texture hit the roof of her mouth, the flavour languid and creamy. She detected salmon, black caviar, sour cream, dill, black pepper.”