Read for the RIP V Reading Challenge.
A man is involved in a horrifying car accident, and is burned so badly he faces a long recovery in the burn ward of the hospital. While there, he meets a woman named Marianne Engel. Marianne insists that they’ve met before – that they were lovers in medieval Germany, where she was a scribe, and he was a stone mason. Slowly, she tells them the story of their supposed past, as he learns more about her history in the present day.
This is a really fascinating story, one that I can’t easily make a tidy summary of. What I’ve written above barely scratches the surface of the tale, which covers history, love, self-image, addiction, mental illness, religion, and so much more. Marianne’s tales of the past are compelling, and the unnamed narrator’s healing journey is equally fascinating. I had a hard time putting it down, which was a problem, since I read it while on vacation. This isn’t necessarily the most fantastical of tales, but if you want a fascinating personal journey, it’s well worth a read.