Title/Author: Where Reasons End: A Novel by Yiyun Li
Publisher: Random House
In a nutshell (Publisher):
The narrator of Where Reasons End writes, “I had but one delusion, which I held on to with all my willpower: We once gave Nikolai a life of flesh and blood; and I’m doing it over again, this time by words.”
Yiyun Li meets life’s deepest sorrows as she imagines a conversation between a mother and child in a timeless world. Composed in the months after she lost a child to suicide, Where Reasons End trespasses into the space between life and death as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity of a relationship.
Written with originality, precision, and poise, Where Reasons End is suffused with intimacy, inescapable pain, and fierce love.
“I was almost you once, and that’s why I have allowed myself to make up this world to talk with you.”
Told in 16 short narratives about a mother who’s trying to come to terms with her son’s death, asking herself, ‘How could that have happened?’ ‘What went wrong?’ She created conversations with him just to keep him and memories of him alive. Can memories last or only be replaced by new ones?
I felt each word leadened with grief, guilt and regrets, her days lived with wishful thinking and hopes, and what ifs and could haves. She sometimes wondered and asked him how he was coping on his side of the world.
She reminisced their days and moments spent together, baking, sharing and discussing stories and poetry that they wrote/had written. She missed sharing their love for music, knitting, and language.
Questions flooded her mind constantly. How does one deal with such a great loss? Was there anything she could’ve done differently that would’ve prevented him from commuting suicide? Why didn’t she see it coming? Were kids really so good at hiding and parents bad at seeking? How do you say goodbye? Do you want to say goodbye? Are there words or sufficient words to describe this feeling?
Such a heart-wrenching book. As a mother, it left me teary, thinking of those who have lost their loved ones. It’s difficult to even think about it, what more talk and write about it. Albeit a little repetitive in some parts, overall it’s an insightful, moving and beautifully-written book. Made me hold my little ones even closer.
*Quotes included here are from an advanced readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication.
Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin for providing me a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own.
Have you read this? What did you think? If not, do you intend to read it?
Till then, HAPPY READING!