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Sunday 15 March 2020

Nina's Memento Mori by Mathias B Freese

'Memento mori.'  Latin for 'remember you must die.' Or a reminder that death is inevitable. An unusual title for a book. But the author is an unusual writer. His writing is deep, intellectual, expressive and very sincere. 

I was expecting a tribute to his tragically deceased wife, Nina. It was, yes, but it was also so, so much more. A wife for only a very very short time, a soulmate…two people who found each other quite late in life, both, I think, regretting they hadn't found each other sooner. Both have/had troubled and cruel pasts: pasts which moulded their futures. And this is part of what bonded them so closely.  But aside from telling the reader why he loved Nina so much, he talks to us candidly about himself:  warts and all.

It's hard not to read this without equal amounts of sorrow and joy. Sorrow for their unfortunate experiences and joy for the blissful, but short, period of happiness they ultimately found. It's a book of candour, intimacy, honesty and baring of the soul.

Most authors' requests to read and review their books come with anticipated gratitude.  They hope you'll say yes and hope they'll get a five-star review.  However, I always feel it's the other way round:  I'm the one who is grateful to have been asked.  

This is a (short) book you feel extremely privileged to have been asked to read.

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