From Goodreads: “Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn’t always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And although he doesn’t know it, that book also survived: it crossed oceans and generations, and changed lives.” Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that book. She has her hands full keeping track of her little brother Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah) and taking copious notes in her book, How to Survive in the Wild Volume Three. But when a mysterious letter arrives in the mail she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family.”
I found this book somewhat hard to understand at the beginning. The jumping back and forth of character narratives was confusing at times. However, overall I enjoyed this book. Leo Gursky was by far my favorite character in this novel. He was a bitter crusty old man who had such a quirky personality that I couldn’t put his sections down. I was entranced by his life observations, his opinions, him. On the latter, I found Alma slightly annoying and hard to relate to. And Bird, although he was quite interesting and completely odd and outshone his sister, I didn’t see the relevance between him and this story. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting. From the title, I gathered it would be more of a love story than a mystery but it ended up being a perfect meld of the two genres.
Rating – 3.5/5