Published by Transworld/Doubleday
Love/Adventure based on True Life
Random Acts of Heroic Love By Danny Scheinmann
Based on real family events, Danny Scheinmann’s novel paints a dramatic portrait of two epic love stories.
1992: Travelling throughSouth Americawith his girlfriend, Leo wakes up in a hospital to find his girlfriend is dead. He blames himself for the tragedy and is sucked into a spiral of despair. But a surprising secret leads Leo to discover something that will change his life forever.
1917: Moritz is a POW fugitive, with seven thousand kilometres of the Russian steppes separating him from his first love, whose memory has kept him alive through carnage and captivity. The war may be over, but he now faces a perilous journey and the insecurity of whether his love is still waiting.
This was a Richard and Judy recommendation, which can sometimes be off-putting as they seem to like every book, however they do pick some really good ones.
As the book description says it is a story of two epic loves. It is not romantic in the usual sense but portrays the longing and heartache of the two main male characters and the strength of their feelings.
Leo tortures himself with guilt about his girlfriend death and becomes depressed. He cannot believe he will ever feel any different and becomes isolated in his grief. His friends are supportive as long as they can be, but it takes a different thought process to change his life, and a special friend to help him change.
Moritz is a fugitive prisoner who is in Siberia and has wonderful memories of a girl he kissed and declared love to and tries to make his way back to her. The descriptions of the cold harsh Siberian winter really makes you want to wrap up in a blanket to keep reading. The way he continues to write his letters, not knowing whether they are being delivered is heart wrenching. The length of the description of the journey gives you the feeling of endless hardship which at first I thought was overdone, but on balance it realistically portrays a long long walk.
I loved the way that Roberto shows Leo by quantum physics that atoms blend and stay connected until something else happens like another collision, then the atoms can restart the cosmic dance. He obviously explains it a lot better than that, and in terms that are instantly understood by non mathematicians. This understanding helps Leo in his grief. The illustrations throughout the book are good and very interesting, like the structure of animals in different animal kingdoms being similar to the movements of the universe, a beautiful quote from Louis Pasteur, and the details of the navigation complexities of eels, amazing.
The ending is very satisfying and the connections are made with the characters involved, anyone who has lost love then re-found themselves will relate closely with the well drawn characters. Really a great book, with poetic language and a flowing style. I found some of the passages, especially those describing the journey of Moritz to be too long but not uninteresting. I Would happily recommend this book for a long weekend.