The Dead Man [Book Review]
Publications & Education
composer of sacred music and a music therapist, is well aware of the saying,
“Physician, heal thyself,” but she just can’t seem to do this. For
some unknown reason, she — a sensible, intelligent professional — can’t
recover from a brief relationship she had five years ago with a world-famous
music critic named Jake. This obsession with Jake is a mystery to Eve’s
friends, and also to her. In an attempt to solve this mystery, she “returns
to the scene of the crime” Israel, where Jake still lives, and where they
first fell in love. There she revisits all their old haunts and struggles to
complete the song cycle she started composing five years ago about Jake but
hasn’t been able to finish. Gradually the dark mystery behind their complex
relationship begins to unravel. Eve discovers the forgotten childhood memories,
losses, and desires that are encapsulated in her connection to Jake. And then,
inspired by all the music she hears around her (including the singing of birds,
the crying of babies, and the honking of cars), she succeeds in finally
completing her song cycle and setting her obsession to rest. This novel, filled
with music, dealing with themes of love, grief, early loss, and the power of
art, will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever loved and lost, and will
continue to resound and echo for a long time afterward.
in just three days. Sometimes, there’s a book which just comes to you at the
perfect moment, and this was the book I needed. I needed a break from YA, and
something a bit more adult and a bit more grounded in reality.
did for me was reawaken my passion for writing. But that’s not what the
protagonist, Eve, has a passion for. Eve has a passion for composing music and
lives to continue working on this in her life. She listens to music, hears it
as she walks along the street and writes it whenever she feels inspired. From
reading the book you gather how immersed she is in the musical world, and it strongly
reminded me of what it means to truly love what you are passionate about. It’s
been a while since I’ve felt that with reading and writing, but this book
managed to make me find it again. I can’t wait to be fully immersed in my own
grounded in culture. The protagonist of the novel is Jewish, and the entire
story is occurring while she is in Israel. Some of the descriptions we get of
the country are beautiful, and I did get to know quite a bit about Judaism – a religion
I admit I don’t know much about. Although there wasn’t an overwhelming amount
of it in the novel, it still was present enough for it to set a tone to the
first novel I’ve ever read about an obsession with a relationship. It was
entirely new to me, and I have to admit it is what intrigued me most about this
book. What deepens this obsession is that Eve was ‘the other woman’ as we say
these days, and was fully conscious of the fact that Jake had a marriage as
they had their affair. It astonishes me that she can’t let it go, and what she
does in her mind. Gradually throughout the novel, more hints and clues are
revealed as to while she feels this way. When every piece of the puzzle has
been put together, it wasn’t quite the mind blowing revelation I expected. But
I wasn’t disappointed either because this answer was realistic and so plausible
it was hard for me to think that the ‘mystery’ behind her obsession could have
been anything else. I should’ve known.
will find how much she goes on and on about Jake annoying or too repetitious.
It didn’t go that way for me because there was meaning behind every recount of
old memories and every time he was mentioned. But maybe this stylistically, isn’t
for everyone, and I feel that’s why it’s worth me mentioning in this review.
writing style. It was beautiful. This novel is truly a piece of literature.
Maybe because I was reading between my essay writing as steady breaks, but my literature
analysis mode was on and I could see so much clever symbolism inserted when she
connects small everyday life to happenings of more weight. Reading this, I
could see how clever the author had been in everything they had written, and it
made me appreciate the novel even more. I think I would even enjoy analyzing this
beautifully. The imagery, the meaning, the title and the music – everything made
sense all at once. And once I’d turned the last page I had this ultimate
feeling of satisfaction. Of course, I am eager to read more works by Nora Gold.
A fantastic book I highly recommend.
Have you ever been in a relationship (friendship counts!) that you knew was