The Almond in the Apricot

Sara Goudarzi. Deep Vellum, $22 (252p) ISBN 978-1-64605-109-0
A New Jersey woman tries to understand how she stumbled upon a parallel universe after losing her best friend in Goudarzi’s exquisite and magical debut. Two months after Spencer’s death, Emma, 29, has incredibly vivid dreams about a seventh-grader named Lily who’s living in a war-torn place called Touran in the 1980s. Often, Emma’s and Lily’s worlds blur together: Emma, for instance, notices the smell of war (a “sharp, sulfuric electrical odor”) in her condo shortly after a dream of Lily and her family seeking shelter during a bombing. For Emma, the dreams are too real to be only a “manifestation of the grieving process.” Eventually, she enlists the help of a physicist named Kerr, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Spencer and knows a great deal about parallel universes, wormholes, and time travel. There are many concise observations on grief (“And the void, the void his nonbeing left in my being. It was as if Spencer’s death was a sudden cliff from which I just kept falling”), and Goudarzi finds poignancy in Emma’s romantic infatuation with Kerr, but a rushed, unsatisfying ending leaves the reader with many unresolved questions. Despite the frustrating conclusion, readers will find this captivating. Agent: Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/27/2021
Release date: 01/01/2022
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-1-64605-110-6
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