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Review: In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist

I really had high expectations for this book. I’m not saying that it wasn’t any good but there were several elements that made it a challenge. I felt that those elements took away from the experience to be completely in love with the book. What the book was about was extremely compelling and could’ve had a deeper impact but I feel conflicted with my overall feelings of the book due to those circumstances.

I’ve never been one to care about the technical aspects of a book. What’s important to me is the actual story being told unfolding in front of me. This being a fictionalized autobiography was interesting because I don’t believe I’ve read this type of book before. My frustration comes with the consecutive pages of writing with no breaks of time, emotions or places. There was no separation in dialogue which sort of takes away that visual and by the conversations just being written on the page takes away the depth of what was happening.

If I could divide the book into thirds: the first half was very interesting, the second half was all over the place and third half was very emotional. The way the time and place go from one to the next, it makes it hard for the reader to connect and feel the moment. I’m not sure if there was something lost in the translation but there were moments where I was very moved and then it abruptly goes to something else not related and just takes away that moment. That was extremely disappointing. I don’t have a problem with the alternating of time. I just wished it was introduced differently where you are aware of the transitions.

Overall, Tom’s story was moving and if I separate all the elements of the story, you can sympathize and feel moved by his transition of grief truly to seek comfort and hope through a difficult transition in his life. His experience being able to pour himself out on the pages I'm sure was cathartic for him. The love and loss of his experiences not only with his partner but with his dad really are emotional. With that said, the struggle to connect consistently with the book due to the format and structure I believe affected my experience. It’s been a mixed bag from what I see online but I will leave that up to you to decide if this is a good fit.

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