Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I fly out of the water, gasping for air, reaching for him, but he’s already gone. I know he’s gone even before I reach for him. It’s something in my heart now that tells me, confirms it for me when my head tries to tell me otherwise. It’s like they’re constantly fighting with each other, arguing, pulling me this way and that, leaving me dangling in the middle, in the wasteland between my past and my present.
I'm actually putting together this review from the hospital, all in my head, in order to distract me from the fact that I was constantly getting poked and prodded, all due to pneumonia, which of course made my asthma worse. I can't write it down in a notebook because my right hand--which is my writing hand--has an intraveous hose attached to it and it's all bruised, plus there's no wi-fi available. Now that I'm done reading In the Shadow of Satellites, I wonder to myself if reading a book that made me cry was a good idea. Maybe not since I'm getting more oxygen through a nasal cannula (which is rather uncomfortable) and I've got a cold and all. But this book? Damn, was it worth it. I've waxed poetic about Amanda Dick's writing before, courtesy of my sublime reading experiences with two of her other titles--Absolution and Sliding Down the Sky--and I have her other novels--The Trouble with Paper Planes and Between Before and After--waiting for me on my e-reader. When she offered to let me read and review her latest upcoming release, saying "yes" was a given. I mean, come on. It's Amanda. I knew it would be exquisite.
When a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, Sian Bennett is buried alive. She's rescued but was in a coma for months, regaining consciousness to the news that her beloved husband James and their young son Kieran were gone and their funerals over and done with. Since then, she's re-learned to do even the most mundane of things, creating a routine for herself, and jotting down reminders and lists. But Sian stopped living when she lost James and Kieran, the two people who were her reasons for living. She goes through the motions in the cabin by the lake where she still feels closest to her family, only receiving regular visits from her best friend and occasional ones from James's best friend. This is how she's chosen to be--listening for her husband's voice, wading through the lake while trying to get close enough to him and their son. And then she notices someone new--an unexpected neighbor working on his own cabin. Sian wants her solitude, but former American soldier Luke Lancaster could be exactly what she needs. But are either of them ready for the emotional upheaval?
How can I explain to you how hauntingly awe-inspiring this story is? There's nothing easy about what what Sian and Luke have experienced in their lives prior to meeting each other, and once their pasts cross, they're confronted by new challenges, some of which they probably would have preferred not to face if only their feelings weren't as strong as they were. My heart broke repeatedly for Sian. Her loss is incomparable and her soul was tethered to all things that were James and Kieran, desperately wanting to be with them. Her best friends, Ana and Chris, have tried to be there for her as best they can and as much as she will allow them to, but they recognize that she needs to move forward, which is much easier said than done. Luke becoming a part of her life is the undeniable impetus that makes her see things differently, but the decision to make changes and to truly move on--which doesn't necessarily mean letting go of her memories of James and Kieran, those that her heart will forever remember even if her mind can't--was hers, as it should be. In the Shdaows of Satellites is a five-plus-star, must-read masterpiece. ♥
Release Date: 22 August 2016
Date Read: 22 August 2016
Learn more about Amanda Dick.
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