This unusual novel reads like an autobiography in that the narrator, David, tells his story in the first person as though detailing his life experiences. Initially, he recounts his early life and leads up to his relationship with his girlfriend, Chloe, and his hopes of a career as a heart surgeon. Everything changes, however, with the requirement for him to take a test to determine whether he has inherited a genetic wasting disease from his late father. This event disrupts his world completely and he begins on a process of rethinking his future.
I won’t describe what happens after this, as that is the essential matter of the story.
As always in fiction, my interest lies with the characters. Here we are introduced to real people facing real challenges. These are people the reader cares about, empathises with. As they deal with the ups and downs, cope with emotional issues, face practical barriers, and try to work out how best to solve the many problems facing them, we come to care deeply about the outcomes.
This is a moving account about a real issue affecting many hundreds of thousands throughout the world. As it poses potential solutions, it manages to educate the reader about the nature and variety of genetic diseases, of which there are a frightening number.
Readers will find this tale amazing, engaging, absorbing, moving and challenging. The protagonists are faced with frustrations, injustices, prejudice in all its forms, and seemingly impossible hills to climb. They display strength, courage, determination, commitment and, most of all, love to reach a conclusion that is both satisfying and inevitable.
A truly great read.