Published by Hideaway Fall on November 30 2020
337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens.
It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.
While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.
Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever.
Reduced to ashes.
But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.
I think I have to talk about the book itself before I review it. In the UK we are lucky enough to get a hardback version where it is double-ended. You can start reading on the bright yellow sunshine door, or you can start it on the glum blue cloudy door. Reflecting on the book, I don’t think it matters which one we start the book on, I think it is more how we end. Do we view the ending to a happy one, if so so the yellow door is our route, but do we find the ending bittersweet, well if so please head to the blue door. This is how I interpreted it but that is what I love, it is completely open to interpretation.
More is less here, the story of Samuel is a tale of sorrow. A man living half a life due to the events in the past. Events which are told to us slowly and all from the point of view of Samuel. What I love is that it is so subjective, we only know the things that Samuel knows. When he hears of events that happen from someone else it at times contradicts his, which makes us question it all. The other thing I really enjoyed is that Samuel does not reveal everything to us from the start. We are led to believe the innocent things, the voices in calls, the background noises, the sights. It is only, later on, we know the truth.
There is something I found quite magical about this book. I can’t be too explicit to why as I do not want to ruin the mystery for you. I did find the writing to be quite entrancing, I think because of the tone of the book. Despite the story and themes that run through the book, the book is quite conversational, it made it for easy reading and with the short chapters, well we all know the pitfalls of that.
A stunning book, one where I could have happily read a couple more hundred pages of it seemed to be over way too soon. Although it is short and quite compact, it is a poignant tale, there is warmth and loss and it makes you think. There is one particular line in the book that resonated for me and it might just be a new mantra for me.
We shouldn’t yearn for a past that’s already gone and can’t be changed.
It is a beautiful, poetic and a remarkably fresh look at life and I think its the perfect way to end this review. Not because I have nothing more to say, in fact, it is the opposite, there is too much to say but I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone. I have not read anything before by this author but I will be taking the time to check out his other books.
Until next time xxx
Thanks to Holly at Hideaway Falls and the author for a copy of the book in return for my honest and unbiased review.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: