Ahoy there me mateys! For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. So today I bring ye:
waiting for eden (Elliot Ackerman)
This book is about a soldier, Eden, who is greviously injured in a war and is in a coma. His wife, Mary, refuses to leave his side, not even for the sake of their daughter. But she finally leaves one Christmas and Eden wakes up. And the consequences are unexpected.
This novel is narrated by Eden’s dead best friend. I frankly thought this short book was going to have a sci-fi feel which is partially why I read it. The other reason is because I kept picking it up every time I passed it so I decided that was a sign. This book was not sci-fi despite the dead narrator. It is very much literary fiction and explores how husband, wife, and friend’s lives intersected and influenced each other.
The story novel was beautifully written and was a super quick read. I found meself completely compelled by Eden’s side of the story in particular. I emphathized with his plight on multiple levels. His current circumstances were hell. There are lots of philosphical questions in this one – war, end of life wishes, guilt, friendship, loss, marriage, responsibilies, etc. It may not have been a sci-fi but I am very glad I read this one. Arrr!
Side Note: Readers may find some similarities to johnny got his gun.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Eden Malcom lies in a bed, unable to move or to speak, imprisoned in his own mind. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn’t make it back home–and who narrates the novel. But on Christmas, the one day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden’s re-ordered consciousness comes flickering alive. As he begins to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage–and about his life before he went to war–come to the surface. Is Eden the same man he once was: a husband, a friend, a father-to-be? What makes a life worth living? A piercingly insightful, deeply felt meditation on loyalty and betrayal, love and fear, Waiting for Eden is a tour de force of profound humanity.
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