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Title: Mend the Living
Authors: De Kerangal, Maylis
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 230
Year: 2014
Publisher: Quercus
Language: English
Description: It may be the middle of the winter but Simon Limbeau and his friends relish their crazy early morning surfing session at Le Havre. But it is to be Simon's last - on their way home, there is an accident and Simon ceases to be the vibrant young man he was and will become a source of life to many others. In the 24 hours that follow, a complex operation swings into gear: from organ harvesting to donation, each careful detail, each heart-felt emotion, family and friends to nurses and doctors, and finally to Claire Mejan who will receive Simon's heart.

This is an unforgettable story of transformation that honours the players of life and death in this French drama, deftly capturing in its eloquent language the miracle they are involved in.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"The writing is poetic, sentences are long and poem-like."

"The author captures the anguish of the people affected by an event such as this but we also learn much about organ donation and all it involves."

"A thought-provoking story exploring our reactions to the heart and its transplantation."

"Readers need to adjust to the very long sentences. Disconcerting at first, but then it comes to seem natural."

"The reader gets to know something of the life and attitudes of each person involved in a heart transplant."

"The rich and detailed original prose is a highlight."

"I thought the very long sentences would lose the sense, but they don't."

"The human involvement is done very well – the reactions and emotions involved in everyday activities as well as in the tragedy."

"The author builds up an amazing detail of all the people involved, the family, medical staff, the heart recipient, as well as the medical and social processes."

"I enjoyed it very much and wanted to keep re-reading it – and not give it back!"

"The topic and the writing style would be more appreciated by older readers and squeamish people may not cope with the medical detail."

Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Grief/loss, Medical/Health, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Tragedy/disaster, Translation, France, 2019 Titles

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