Review posted July 14, 2022.
HarperAudio, 2021. 10 hours, 54 minutes.
Review written July 9, 2022, from a library eaudiobook.
2022 Alex Award Winner (books published for adults of interest to teens)
2022 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
Oh, this book touched my heart!
You're warned right from the start. Lenni is a Swedish girl living in the terminal ward of the Princess Royal Hospital in Glasgow. She's 17 years old, and she doesn't want to die.
As the book begins, she can still go on adventures around the hospital. She goes to the chapel and meets Father Arthur. She asks him some uncomfortable questions about why she's going to die, and ends up making friends with him. She helps a temp name the new room for hospital patients to do art. They call it the Rose Room -- and that's where Lenni meets Margot.
Margot is 83 years old and also dying -- and Lenni notices that between the two of them, they've lived 100 years.
They begin a project together in the Rose Room -- 100 paintings, one for each year of their lives. And along with the paintings, they started telling stories, stories from different years of their lives.
I love the two narrators for this audiobook. The narrator reading Lenni's part sounds 17, and the narrator reading Margot's stories sounds 83. And they both have wonderful accents, so the whole thing is a delight to read.
We know from the start that Lenni and Margot are dying. So you can simply expect some heartbreak at the end. But that's going to come because this unlikely pair will have completely wound their way into your heart before you're done with their stories and their enthusiasm for living.
Oh, and there's a Swedish man in the book named Mr. Eklund, so that's proof it's a great book!