I cannot rave about this book enough. I just finished it and it's all I want to think about. It's one of the most beautifully written, creative stories I've read in a very long time (and I read many, many books each year). I am deeply touched by the characters and the exploration of love and loss; what that means, how to cope and how to move on. The scenes are vivid and rich and the characters wonderfully three-dimensional. Max's story is moving and original. I couldn't wait to get to the next adventure... but I didn't want it to end. I so desperately didn't want it to end. For the first time in a while, I wanted to BE Shelley. I wanted to curl up next to Max and never, never, ever let go. I want to relive the novel over and over, memorize it, absorb it into my soul, incorporate it in my very DNA.
I hate that I can't tell you more... but I don't want to spoil anything. I will say... you absolutely must check out this book!
A few quotes from the book that moved me:
"Growing old is to be set free, Brother," the abbot said. "It is a slow and long-simmering process that extracts from you what you are really made of. But it requires acceptance. You cannot put a flailing chicken in a boiling pot. You must accept the heat and the pain with serenity so that the full flavors of your life may be released."
"Shelley, will you let me hold your hand as we outrun reason, brush past elephants, race up steps, tumble down hills, roll in the hay, leap over crumbling walkways, and dangle our legs over ledges?"
"She had known a love worth mourning, a love worth remembering."