Young, Louisa. Twelve Months and a Day. Penguin Putnam, 2023. ISBN 9780593542651. $17.00
More of a narrative with romantic elements, Twelve Months and a Day tells the story of two recently widowed people — and their recently deceased partners, who come together in their confusion and sorrow and develop friendships. The living one between musician Rasmas and videographer Roisin is gently and strategically nudged along by the ghostly Nico and Jay, whose presences are felt so strongly because they are literally still there, calling on help when Rasmas falls into a depressive episode, holding Roisin close in bed as she grieves. As someone open to the idea of spirit lingering, I completely bought into life after death as Young presented it.
The writing is so gorgeous–evocative, emotional, sensory. The pacing is slow in a deliberate and unhurried sense, giving plenty of space for character and plot to develop. Roisin and Rasmas share their thoughts and lives in ways they have not been able to in grief groups or with friends, mostly through email. When Rasmas makes a comeback with his band to share music he wrote for Jay, it is Roisin who is hired to be the interviewer and then documentarian.
There are few surprises but this is a highly compelling story. Fans of Josie Silver will devour this beautiful and poignant tale of what happens to love after loss, and rejoice in how love changes and goes on and clears the way for future love.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #TwelveMonthsAndADay from #NetGalley.