Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.
Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.
But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student; a caretaker and dying patient; a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.
*I was sent an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – a huge thank you to Harper Voyager for granting me early access to this book*
Publication date: July 8th 2021
Meet Me in Another Life is a truly beautiful and complex tale, encapsulating what it means to be human, to truly live and love and make choices. I think many readers will read this book and be left with a lot of food for thought and maybe even a shift in mindset – while the concept is quite fantastical in a sense, the things Thora and Santi experience and the questions explored in the novel are so universal that I think it will prove relatable to anybody who chooses to give this book a go.
What initially drew me to this book was the idea of past lives, of these two characters coming back again and again but somehow always finding each other. While this would form the basis for a pretty awesome story of star crossed lovers, Catriona Silvey takes this idea and makes it so much more interesting by switching this up. In some lives Thora and Santi are together, in others they have a strictly platonic relationship, in others they’re family but at the core – they have this complicated and enduring bond, this love that surpasses it all. They also go through trials and endure a lot of back and forth, some of which is genuinely frustrating to read, especially when it comes to Thora as a character, she’s a bit like marmite in my opinion, you either love her or hate her. Thora is more of a realist and at times I found it hard to understand or relate to her rather cynical way of looking at the world and her near constant way of self sabotage and negativity. I related more to Santi and I think I appreciated his outlook more but I did value how different these two were and how their dynamic shifts and changes over their lifetimes.
While the story can be read as a testament to love of all kinds, it also speaks to the very human and real questions and issues we all face day to day. From wondering whether we’re following the ‘right’ path in life, to seeking more and trying to find contentment and happiness and also dealing with death, grief and what comes beyond life, Silvey manages to pack in the range of human experience. At times it is quite profound and in others I felt like it was a bit awkward and repetitive.
I also liked the prose, there are some gorgeous quotes and I was highlighting furiously on my kindle whilst reading, I just know I’ll go back to those lines again and again. There’s something understated about Silvey’s writing style, it isn’t excessively descriptive or detailed, and she has the skill to say a lot with a little and I love when writers can do this. I loved the way Silvey writes about Cologne – having never been there, she does a great job of bringing the city to life, it felt very artsy and bohemian and fit so well as a backdrop. I was also a huge fan of the repeated motifs; street art, stars, astronomy and constellations, it was just so quietly stunning. The writing style was reminiscent of V.E. Schwab’s in The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue to me, it gave me the same sort of feeling and I can say I’m definitely a fan.
I really don’t want to spoil anything – especially when it comes to the truth behind why Thora and Santi seem destined to keep coming back and why they’re tied together. I didn’t predict why it was all happening but it’s one of those stories where once you do find out, you find little bits of foreshadowing and clues scattered throughout the novel which gives you that ‘aha’ moment and wonder how you didn’t figure it all out before. I thought the reveal and subsequent follow through and conclusion felt true to the rest of the novel and the characters, even if it did have me crying into my duvet on a sleepy sunday morning.
Overall, Meet Me in Another Life isn’t quite what I expected, as I thought this was going to be a straightforward love story but it turned out to be something utterly different. I genuinely enjoyed this novel for the most part so I’m intrigued to see where this author goes next, rest assured, I’ll definitely be following along for the journey.
Until next time,