Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Dead Man [Book Review]

 Hello there!

Title: The Dead Man
Author: Nora Gold
Publisher: Inanna Publications & Education
Published Date: 5th May 2016
Rating: 5 Stars


*Thank you to the author for the review copy*


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Synopsis: The Dead Man is a compelling novel about a woman who is obsessed. Eve, a composer of sacred music and a music therapist, is well aware of the saying, "Physician, heal thyself," but she just can't seem to do this. For some unknown reason, she -- a sensible, intelligent professional -- can't recover from a brief relationship she had five years ago with a world-famous music critic named Jake. This obsession with Jake is a mystery to Eve's friends, and also to her. In an attempt to solve this mystery, she "returns to the scene of the crime" Israel, where Jake still lives, and where they first fell in love. There she revisits all their old haunts and struggles to complete the song cycle she started composing five years ago about Jake but hasn't been able to finish. Gradually the dark mystery behind their complex relationship begins to unravel. Eve discovers the forgotten childhood memories, losses, and desires that are encapsulated in her connection to Jake. And then, inspired by all the music she hears around her (including the singing of birds, the crying of babies, and the honking of cars), she succeeds in finally completing her song cycle and setting her obsession to rest. This novel, filled with music, dealing with themes of love, grief, early loss, and the power of art, will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever loved and lost, and will continue to resound and echo for a long time afterward.

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Review: The Dead Man was an incredible read which I consumed in just three days. Sometimes, there’s a book which just comes to you at the perfect moment, and this was the book I needed. I needed a break from YA, and something a bit more adult and a bit more grounded in reality.

What this book really did for me was reawaken my passion for writing. But that’s not what the protagonist, Eve, has a passion for. Eve has a passion for composing music and lives to continue working on this in her life. She listens to music, hears it as she walks along the street and writes it whenever she feels inspired. From reading the book you gather how immersed she is in the musical world, and it strongly reminded me of what it means to truly love what you are passionate about. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that with reading and writing, but this book managed to make me find it again. I can’t wait to be fully immersed in my own passion again.


This novel is also grounded in culture. The protagonist of the novel is Jewish, and the entire story is occurring while she is in Israel. Some of the descriptions we get of the country are beautiful, and I did get to know quite a bit about Judaism – a religion I admit I don’t know much about. Although there wasn’t an overwhelming amount of it in the novel, it still was present enough for it to set a tone to the novel.

This was also the first novel I’ve ever read about an obsession with a relationship. It was entirely new to me, and I have to admit it is what intrigued me most about this book. What deepens this obsession is that Eve was ‘the other woman’ as we say these days, and was fully conscious of the fact that Jake had a marriage as they had their affair. It astonishes me that she can’t let it go, and what she does in her mind. Gradually throughout the novel, more hints and clues are revealed as to while she feels this way. When every piece of the puzzle has been put together, it wasn’t quite the mind blowing revelation I expected. But I wasn’t disappointed either because this answer was realistic and so plausible it was hard for me to think that the ‘mystery’ behind her obsession could have been anything else. I should’ve known.


I do think that some will find how much she goes on and on about Jake annoying or too repetitious. It didn’t go that way for me because there was meaning behind every recount of old memories and every time he was mentioned. But maybe this stylistically, isn’t for everyone, and I feel that’s why it’s worth me mentioning in this review.

I loved Gold’s writing style. It was beautiful. This novel is truly a piece of literature. Maybe because I was reading between my essay writing as steady breaks, but my literature analysis mode was on and I could see so much clever symbolism inserted when she connects small everyday life to happenings of more weight. Reading this, I could see how clever the author had been in everything they had written, and it made me appreciate the novel even more. I think I would even enjoy analyzing this book.



The ending wrapped up beautifully. The imagery, the meaning, the title and the music – everything made sense all at once. And once I’d turned the last page I had this ultimate feeling of satisfaction. Of course, I am eager to read more works by Nora Gold. A fantastic book I highly recommend.

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Gif Summary: 


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

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New Video: My September book haul!


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Olivia’s Question: Have you ever been in a relationship (friendship counts!) that you knew was unhealthy?


Olivia-Savannah x

28 comments:

  1. Initially this wouldn't be something I'd pick up right away if I would see it at a bookstore or something but your review has me intrigued by it so much, Olivia! And I love that the protagonist of the novel is Jewish and that it's set in Israel. ♥

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    1. It isn't my usual read as well but when I saw the premise I got too curious... I had to request it! I loved the unique setting as well :)

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  2. Sometimes it's good to break away from our usual genres and find something new and different. I'm glad that you liked this one! Oh and great book haul!
    Miranda @ Miranda's Book Blog

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    1. Yes, I'm all for reading outside of your comfort zone from time to time! Thanks for watching as well, Miranda x

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  3. Great review Liv :) You're right - sometimes the right book comes along at the right time, and that's fab :)

    (Also, I think it's called Judaism, not Jewism? 85% sure.)

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    1. I love when that happens. And I edited and corrected my mistake! You're always on the lookout and helping me fixes those tiny issues. Thanks, Cee <3

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  4. Oh wow, this novel sounds like a powerful one! I adore books that have a more serious tone without being too unrealistic and I'm especially interested in this one because of the music aspect. I think I might just buy myself a copy of this book!

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    1. I think you just summarised it perfectly - a serious tone and yet still realistic. Oh, you'd love the music tone to this!

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  5. Yay! So glad you found the perfect book for you at the perfect time. I love when that happens. :) Sounds like a fascinating read. I think most of us have been in a bad relationship/friendship at some point. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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    1. I have to agree - I think most of us probably have been! Thanks for stopping by ^.^

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  6. I loved your review. And I'm intrigued by your thoughts on this book.

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  7. This sounds like a wonderful book! Yes, I've been in an unhealthy relationship before, and I got out as quickly as possible.

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    1. I'm glad you managed to. That's for the best.

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  8. Wow this sounds really original, I don't know if I would enjoy reading it, especially since Eve was "the other woman" as you say. I do love the part about her being so in love with music, I've always wanted to play an instrument myself but have never done so *sigh*

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. I think some people may have difficulty with that fact, but as you get to see Jake you can understand the relationship the trio had in this, it's almost as if Eve is blameless for her role in the whole fiasco... It's never to late too pick up an instrument!

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  9. Wow, sounds like a deep book. Great review.

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  10. Not my cup of tea but I might read it in the future! :)
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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    1. A shame it isn't for you, but thanks for considering it nonetheless :D

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  11. It's wonderful when a book comes around at the perfect time in your life. When it awakens something inside you. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I really loved how it made me reignite my passion for writing :)

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  12. This sounds absolutely fantastic, Olivia-Savannah! I especially like that it takes place in different locations, and that there is music involved. Great review :) Adding to my TBR :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I hope you love it like I did whenever you read it! Yay :c

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  13. Your book recommendations always sound intriguing. I've never read a book about an obsessive relationship either so I'm definitely adding this.
    I love the Anushka Sharma gif!!

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    1. Glad you could appreciate the gif, hehe ^^ Hope you'll enjoy this one whenever you end up picking it up!

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  14. Only in hindsight have I been able to tell if a relationship has been unhealthy. My younger self has experience a few.

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    1. It is incredibly hard to tell when you are experiencing it yourself... which is why so many people get stuck in them :/

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