I have been saying this often- but I will say it again- lately I am completely obsessed with audio books. I don’t know if it is the way a narrator can bring a story to life, or the way each word is spoken with such importance, or simply that it makes me feel a little bit like royalty when someone reads to me.
Friends of mine joke with me that if I were given the choice of a hotel room that came with my own personal reader or a room with a huge flat-screen HDTV, I would choose a soft-spoken gentleman reading me a chapter or two as a ended a long day every time- and someone else could have the TV!
So while it is true that I do love being read to- really it is ultimately the story that keeps me hanging on from chapter to chapter- no matter how calming the reading voice might be. So when the perfect storm of the perfect voices and the perfect novel with the perfect setting and perfect plot come together, it should be recognized- celebrated even.
Jennifer Dubois’ impeccably written debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes is that perfect storm. Not only is this book beautiful and heartbreaking and philosophical on so many levels, it is also humbling in its’ stunning ability of bringing the two main characters Irina and Aleksander into your life where they will remain for a very long time. Your heart will break with both of them, your dreams will change with theirs and your appreciation for the smallest happinesses in life will be amplified.
This is a great choice for book clubs and book discussions. This is a story that I feel everyone will get a little more out of then they expected from a woman faced with a shocking diagnosis and a Russian chess player turned politician. I was sad to finish this book, I literally dreaded the last words and there is nothing that I love more than that as a reader.