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The most brilliant author of these times. The queen of heartbreaking yet life affirming emotions, author Dani Atkins again managed to break my heart into slivers filled with tears and laughter and patch it back again with love.
Lisa and Alex with Connor – a perfect family where they loved each other deeply. Alex was just 6 when one day on the way to the astronomy fair, the train had a crash, and Lisa was brain dead. Then Alex met 4 strangers, and their life story helped him to understand a fate that was full of stars of hope.
Every word in this book was precious. Every word spoke to the cells of my heart. Every word carried forth its emotions, evoking tears and smiles in me. From the blurb, it was easy to understand what the story was all about.
But the journey into the prose was an experience. Nothing could have stopped me from reading this. Told in dual POV, the story told me the tough lives all the characters have had in this book. It was heartening to see them find their hope, and through them for Alex and little Connor to start living.
I cried big, fat tears. I read the prose choked up. My heart was crushed and slowly, like the other characters, I began living again, looking up at stars as they are our past and our future.
Anyone who donates their organs so willingly to total strangers belongs to a league of heroes.Dani Atkins
I am an organ donor. Just a couple of points.
- One can live with one kidney. So relatives can donate their kidney, depending on the country and national organ donation laws of the region.
- Liver too can be donated as it is the only organ in the body which regenerates.
- Cornea can be donated by any person who has died in the first 6 hours. Doesn’t have to be brain dead.
- Recepients taking on the characteristics and feelings of the donor, especially heart transplant has not been seen in the patients I spoke to. To be frank, we call heart as emotional organ, but it is actually the brain which has an emotional center.
- Brain transplant has not yet been done.
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When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.
Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But then Lisa dies in a train crash, and their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old boy. How can he and Connor carry on without Lisa lighting up their lives?
Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. Perhaps, after all, the future is written in the stars…
Publication Date: February 2021
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be found here.
A trip to Goodreads tells me I have never read this author – how is that possible? Thank you for bringing her to my attention.
Great post Shalini. I also loved this story and bawled my eyes out. I love your first two lines, it describes how I felt perfectly. I have a very dear friend who had a heart transplant almost 20 years ago. He has had a lot of issues healthwise the last couple of years unfortunately, but he feels he was gifted with over 20 years of life.
Wow! This sounds like a really powerful and poignant story! Great review!
Mercy! an emotional book review. yup, the CE has been living with one kidney since ’95. and i love that the liver can regenerate–good thing for me.
Thank you so much ❤️ gotta ask, do you drink as your name would suggest, GIN… Ironically I have never had GIN
This sounds lovely! I’ve read one book by Dani Atkins, years ago (Then and Always), and would love to read more. I’m so glad to have seen your review — this one is going on my wish list!
This sounds like a very good and emotional story. I appreciate the organ donor information. It’s not something that gets talked about much these days. Can you comment further about a cornea donor not needing to be brain dead? That concerns/scares me a little.
After any death, cornea can be used for transplant within 6 hours. Patient doesn’t have to be brain dead. So all of us after our deaths, can will the cornea to be donated. It will save people who can’t see due to scars on the cornea or opacity. For heart and lungs, it is taken only if patient is brain dead as they are the organs which are responsible for oxygen in the blood. So once they stop beatings, cells die and can’t be used for transplant. For kidney and liver, relatives, children, spouses can donate as a slice of liver works fine and it regenerates to some extent.
Brain dead is no function in the brain, when it becomes irreversible, but organs are kept in working condition with artificial support. Then all body parts including skin can be used for transplant.
Thanks for the explanation, Shalini.