"Meet Me in Another Life" review
Title: Meet Me in Another Life
Author: Catriona Silvey
Subgenre: Science fiction
2022 Bingo squares: Standalone (HM), Timey Wimey (HM), Mental Health (arguably) (HM), Ifs Ands Or Buts (HM), Family Matters (arguably)
Recommended if: you’re looking for a slow, sweet, sad, character-driven narrative.
Not recommended if: you want the explanations of everything you read to make a lot of sense.
LGBTQ rep: One of the protagonists is bi
To be honest, the more I think about Meet Me in Another Life, the more holes I see in it and less I’m satisfied with it. The ending does not make very much sense and I’ve become more and more bothered by it. However, much of it is very sweet, and I did enjoy most of it quite a bit while I was reading it.
The novel begins as a series of vignettes about two people, Thora and Santi, initially strangers, who get to know each other. Their relationship changes in each vignette - sometimes they’re friends, sometimes colleagues, sometimes parent and child, sometimes lovers. At first, the vignettes are totally separate from each other - the only thing that connects them is the names of the characters. But eventually, they begin to bleed together, and Thora and Santi realize that not all is as it seems.
Meet Me in Another Life has effectively three sections: the vignettes, which are wonderful, and the let’s-solve-the-problem, which is pretty good, and a bridge between the two. I thought the bridge lasted far too long and was not handled very well at all. Moreover, once the resolution was explained, the entire rest of the novel just…didn’t make very much sense. If you don’t think about it too hard, you’re left with a set of wonderful vignettes and a nice let’s-solve-the-problem, with some awkward pacing, which overall makes for a pretty good novel, especially considering it’s a debut.
But if you want your novels to make sense, and you tend to over-analyze everything after finishing, I can’t really recommend this one. Keep an eye on the author for sure, because she seems talented, but this novel isn’t quite all the way there.