Monday, March 9, 2015

The Book of Memory Gaps, by Cecilia Ruiz

One word that comes to mind in describing Cecilia Ruiz's The Book of Memory Gaps: melancholy.  Ruiz tells the tales, in a few short lines, of various individuals whose memories have failed them.  The dancer who had a fall, and is unable to perform.  The composer who continues to write songs that have already been written.  I was especially sad for Viktor, who "arrived home on the same shore, thinking that he had been at sea for months.  His wife would be there to welcome him, though he had left that same morning. Sadly for him, his wife's excitement could never equal his."
Not all of Ruiz's characters suffer chronic memory loss.  Some are nostalgic, are longing for something they have never seen but feel like they should have, or, like Natasha, "constantly has words on the tip of her tongue.  She keeps feeling she is about to remember, but they never come.  She spends her days searching for all of her missing words."

Ruiz's text is poetic and rich, telling powerful stories in a few sentences.  The illustrations have a dusky, dreamlike quality.  You might smile, laugh, or cry, but you will definitely remember.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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