Noah is a disturbed four year old, and his mother, Janie, doesn’t know how to help. Doctors and therapists can do nothing for him. Noah is growing ever worse, terrified of water, knowledge of things he’s had no exposure to, and convinced that he wants to go home to his “other mother.” Jerome is an aging therapist and researcher into the highly disrespected field of reincarnation studies. He has studied thousands of cases of children who seem to remember former lives, with proof via scientific method to back up his research. Now, however, he’s losing his grasp of language, a degenerative disorder called aphasia, and Noah’s case might help him bring his research into a more public light.
I loved every second of this book. You know that experience when you’ve been reading books, and they’ve been good books, and you’ve been satisfied with those you’ve completed, only to come across something that totally blows you out of the water and makes you realize that “good” and “great” are two vastly different categories? That. This book was great.
I’m not sure my description really explains the tone of this book. It’s easy to read that and think that this is paranormal or science fiction. And yes, the book does have a speculative element. However, the entire thing is grounded in philosophy, theology, and science. It takes place in the real world, with real people, and all the evidence of reincarnation may not really be evidence, no matter how convincing.
It’s not really about the speculative element, anyway. It’s about the people. It’s about a single mother trying to cope with her son’s problems. It’s about a man trying to cope with the loss of his functioning as he ages. It’s about a boy trying to cope with nightmares and phobias. It’s about another mother coping with grief, and a daughter coping with the loss of her mother, and a teenager coping with the breakup of a family, and a man coping with the mistakes of his life. It’s about tragedy, and pain, and family, and the little moments that ripple outwards to touch so many lives. Yes, there is a speculative element – maybe – but this is a quiet, literary book of psychological exploration, and it was beautiful, so very beautiful.
My only regret is that I went through it so fast. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by David Pittu and Susan Bennett, and I could not stop listening. It only took two days to finish, when I was trying not to finish it that quickly. I worry that by flying through the book so fast, it won’t stay with me in the long run, and this is one that I really want to stay with me. I think there will likely be a reread in my future!