I was not able to sleep right away after reading this last night. A lingering sadness had permeated into my soul. On the contrary, the story had a happy ending but not for everyone. I think not for Isaac. Yes, the man himself, Mr. Gravity and Calculus--Isaac Newton. My heart bleeds for him.
I think this is going to be my most beautiful read of 2017. I know, seems pretty premature. But allow me to convince you why.
First, the writing is poignant, melancholy and poetic at the same time. It is brimming with rapturous and clever words and metaphors that will strike you and stick with you. They will endlessly tug and pull hard on your heartstrings. This story will entrance you with the melody of a cello that is both sweet and bitter. This will turn you inside out with its vivid descriptions. It's as if it's almost possible that I can play the cello just by following Andrea's tutorials in this book.
What is it with stories with cellos? Remember, If I stay? I don't know, but me reading stories with cellos are always a sweet and emotional combination. It always turns out to be both a happy and heartrending journey. I think a note from a cello can turn the hardest heart of stone into mush, can crack the hardest shell open and can warm the coldest of hearts. Its hypnotic melody can render anyone vulnerable to get carried away and helplessly surrender to get swallowed by its whispering notes and then lose oneself in its music. I can't imagine anyone who listens to a cello being played and not grew serious. Its song will demand your full attention and compel you to take it seriously. I can still hear in my head the enchanting songs played by Andrea on her cello.
This time travel between worlds, three hundred years apart, was done seamlessly and magically. I can find no fault in it but let myself be swept away in this timeless tale of friendship, family, love and discoveries. Isaac Newton was made flesh and blood in this story. Like all of us, he grew up with life's trials hanging over his head and was at the mercy of his tormentors. This larger-than-life brilliant historical figure was made human and even more admirable because of his flaws. The sad and humble beginnings of how he came to be one of the greatest.
The story won't allow you to predict and prepare for what's coming next. You will be forced to give up your theories and assumptions of where the story will take you. You will have to trust that it will take you far beyond your expectations. It will most definitely not disappoint but still it will leave you sad, if not mellowed, once you have reached the conclusion. It's ironic. The ending made sure that all misunderstandings and doubts were resolved but still you can't help ending up in tears. Maybe because of relief yet not quite happy tears. That was how it was for me.
This story had me thinking a lot of questions. I was curious if the author was once a cello prodigy. Was Isaac Newton her favorite of all the brilliant scientist in history? Were science and math her favorite subjects? Was the author fascinated by discoveries, tinkering and creating new things out of scattered and useless objects? Did she at one time want to be a scientist? Some of these questions were answered on the facts about the author.
I give this book all the apples in Woolsthorpe Manor orchard--5/5. This story will effortlessly and easily crawl its way into your heart and would never leave. I am so proud that another Filipino has broken into the halls of international novel writing. Miss Samantha Sotto, you have totally made it. This book is proof. I won't be surprised if this one ends up on the New York Time's Bestsellers' List. Thank you so much for this opportunity to read your amazing work. I am definitely a fan and a proud kababayan. Congratulations!!!
We try to get what has been forbidden for us, and we always want whatever we have been refused.
- Ovid, Amores -
His words were made from the darkest hot chocolate, every sound creamy, comforting, and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Samanta Sotto, Love and Gravity -