Timy reviews Meet Me in Another Life, Catriona Silvey‘s debut Fiction novel out now by HarperVoyager.
Thanks for the audiobook ARC to HarperVoyager, which was approved via Netgalley.
|Series: stand alone||Genre: Sci-Fi, LGBTQ, Fantasy, Fiction|
|Date of Publishing: July 8, 2021||Trigger Warnings: death, illness|
|Page count: 320||Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperVoyager|
Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.
Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.
But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.
When I started looking for songs, I had no idea what I was looking for. Then somehow Iris by Goo Goo Dolls popped into my mind, but that does not quite fit, so I went a bit deeper and came across Long Way Home and it was just perfect.
You know, there are those books that are just calling to you. The ones you lay eyes on and just know you have to read it. Meet Me in Another Life was like that for me. I’ve seen it popping up on my feed a couple of times and I was tempted to request it on Netgalley, but I wouldn’t be able to fit into my schedule. Then as I was looking for audiobooks, it was just there and it felt like an invitation, and so I requested it. I keep having hit or miss results with my Netgalley requests, but I had a good feeling about this one. And my instincts proved right. I. Freaking. Loved. It.
Meet Me in Another Life is the story of Thora and Santi who are destined? cursed? to live and meet over and over and over again. They are the same people at their chores, have the same constant people and the same town to live in – Cologne – but their experiences and roles are always different. Why are they meeting all the time? What brings them together? Can they figure it out and break the cycle? Well, you’ll have to read to find it out.
Meet Me in Another Life hooked me with the first chapter and never let me go. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the book, whenever I stopped listening for the day, my mind was still lingering. The way it’s written, as the characters have new lives in each chapter, new situations as they slowly get aware of what’s happening to them, it shouldn’t work, but it does. It won’t be a book for everyone, as it takes a good while until things start making sense, as we learn what is actually happening and why. And while I was interested in those questions, I was glued to the pages because I was intrigued to watch their lives unfold. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you did just one thing differently? And what if you had countless lives to make different decisions? Assuming you are the same person with the same experiences – which you are not. Silvey plays around with interesting questions. Can we really know someone? And ourselves?
I connected with Thora right from the beginning. She feels out of place, she doesn’t believe in the divine, and she approaches their problems from a practical standpoint. Santi, on the other hand has faith and believes there is a meaning to the world, to the fact they are coming back all the time. That they have to atone for something. Santi and Thora are opposites, but they are fit well together, whether they are family, friends, lovers, mere aquintances. They also rub off on each other and it’s fascinating to watch how they are changing as the story progresses. I loved seeing all these different lives playing out and wished some of them were more in depth. But then, through all the little or big pieces, we get a pretty good idea about Santi and Thora as people. Maybe the secondary characters got a bit sidelined, and not as complex, but there is an explanation for that too.
Meet Me in Another Life is a love story, but it’s also not. Well, not in the general sense. Catriona Silvey eplores all the type of loves there is – between friends, between family, between lovers which makes it so real. It drags the reader through all kinds of emotions, and breaks their hearts. Over and over and over again. I swear I did not get misty eyed at the end. I SWEAR! I absolutely loved every moment of it – the characters, the mystery the way it all unfurled. The way the little details later come back to paint a much bigger picture. It was just absolutely awesome. Meet Me in Another Life easily earned a spot on the best books I’ve read in 2021 list. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on Catriona Silvey‘s books in the future.