Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Oliver Loving - Stefan Merill Black

From a celebrated literary talent comes a brilliant, propulsive novel about family, the traumas and secrets that test our deepest bonds, and the stories that hold us together. 

One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening —and the unspoken story he carries— will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.

Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate — and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original novel that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.​ 

Paperback, 395 pages
Published March 1 2018 by Atlantic Books
Fiction
For review

My thought:
This book was certainly something that fit in these times. It takes place in the past and in the present. Times that shaped them all.

Oliver is your normal kind of teenager. He has a crush on a girl. He writes poems. His dad is a teacher at his school (and a failed artist), and his mum is well normal. 
And everything else is perfectly normal until that fateful day, the day Oliver is no more.

In the present we learned that Oliver was shot in a school shooting and has been in a coma for 10 years. In the past we move forward to that horrible day. Everything seems so normal until it is not.

10 years after that day the town still mourns. The parents still wonder why. And Oliver lies in his coma. His mother takes a step to see if he still has any brain function left, can he come back?

It's certainly not a happy book. His brother Charlie is sort of lost. His dad gave up. His mum gave in. But at least they learn why, I can spoil that, they will learn why. A total truth. I do not want to make you think the whole book is sad.

It is a book about the how it is today. How parents mourn. How towns change. How people try to move on, but find it so hard. And how one boy is lost in his own mind.

A chilling and sad tale. About life, loss and a mind.


32 comments:

  1. This sounds like one that makes one ponder life for sure. Hugs...

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  2. That sounds very timely and chilling.

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    1. When I picked it up it has just happened too

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  3. Sad and chilling is good, YA a bit less so...

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    1. It is not YA. Just The narrator is in his 20s

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  4. This sounds very reveleant to what is going on here in the US. You have me intrigued.

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  5. Wow, this sounds awesome. I think I wold love this. I have a feeling he was trying to protect someone and I'm curious to read what happens.

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    1. No spoilers. But there is a lot more going on than one thinks :/

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  6. Sounds like I would need a box of tissues for this one.

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  7. I'm intrigued by this one.

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  8. Oh wow, that actually looks really good!

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  9. Ooh, sounds very atmospheric. Even the names are very moody. Oliver Loving? A town called Bliss? :D

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  10. Oh so sad, that must be such a tough situation to deal with.

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  11. I haven't heard of this one. What a tough topic but it sounds like it was handled well.

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  12. Dang, this one sounds intense! But also like the issues were treated with respect and well done.

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