Title: Meet Me in Another life (review copy)
Author: Catriona Silvey
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Adult Fiction
Blurb from Goodreads
Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.
Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.
But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.
“Meet Me in Another Life” has a most interesting premise. The plot revolves around two characters, Thora and Santi, who are inexplicably linked across lifetimes. Whatever their lives, no matter their ages, their careers, their relationships, they always end up in each other’s lives. At one point they’re married, another they’re parent and child, another time work colleagues and so on… but no matter what they both end up together in Köln.
But eventually they begin to remember snippets of past lives and their past relationships, and so together they work to discover what is the meaning of their connection and why it is they are seemingly endlessly reincarnated.
So quite the quirky and fascinating plot!
But sadly the reality of reading the book just didn’t live up to my expectations.
Because both Thora and Santi had to live so many lives before the book got to the real crux of the plot … well it all felt a little repetitive. We only got little snippets of these lives and thusly it felt like the characters acted only according to an outline of a personality. What I mean is there wasn’t enough time given to these individual lives in which to wholly develop their personalities and therefore it meant that the characters felt pigeonholed into these rigid stereotypes. Thora was strait-laced, no nonsense, and almost caustic compared to Santi’s more thoughtful mode of being but he came with a heavy dose of martyr complex. And for the whole of the novel neither character ever really broke free of these confines of personality. This meant there wasn’t that much needed character arc where they could grow and develop as people, or even an arc where they regressed! Instead, they just stayed frustratingly the same throughout when in my opinion the novel was begging for some light and shade to bring depth to their individual storylines.
And as for the actual plot and the reasons behind why they kept meeting throughout their lives… well it was as bland and cringeworthy a reveal as when Bobby was in the shower in Dallas! In other words I rolled my eyes SO HARD at the cheesiness (and lazy predictability) of the plot reveal.
One of the things that also felt a little strange to me was how in some lives Thora and Santi were romantically involved and then in another life they were related (siblings, parent and child). I really feel that it didn’t add anything to the plot other than an ick factor.
It’s not that “Meet Me in Another Life” is a bad book, it’s just that it’s not very good either. I never really felt engaged by the characters and their struggle to discover the truth of their existences because the book felt incredibly passive. There was just so much exposition and not enough time devoted to creating characters that the reader could truly empathise with. The book just lacked an emotional core.
And the ending? No thanks. It was supremely cheesy, entirely predictable, and just left me feeling somewhat hollow.
Sadly this one just wasn’t for me.
*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*
- Publication Date: 8th July 2021
- Publisher: HarperVoyager