If you told me that a novel about a heart transplant would be a compelling and beautiful experience I might have laughed at you. But this unique book, Mend The Living a.k.a. The Heart, is both of those and more besides.
Initially as I read the opening pages I was dubious. it didn’t seem as if it was my thing. I confess I had thoughts of giving up on it, not something I do frequently nor lightly. But I persevered, and thank goodness I did.
This book details the twenty four hours in the lives of all the people who play a part in a heart transplant operation. The detail is meticulous and the resulting prose within which that detail is enveloped is quite extraordinary and poetic, a credit to the writer and the translator. There are many paradoxes here between the subjective and the objective, the empathic and the clinical , a treatise on Yin and Yang. It is beautifully balanced.
There are no chapters as such in the book, it is almost one long prose poem to compassion and humanity. An acknowledgement of grief and loss and the greater good. So forgive me if I am unable to comment on the plot and the characters etc, this book is beyond that, beyond comment.
I feel in some ways changed by this novel and I commend it to you from the bottom of MY heart.