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- ISBN-13: 9780545668347
- ISBN-10: 0545668344
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
- Publish Date: April 2015
- Page Count: 336
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-16
- Reviewer: Staff
The odds against Henry and Flora becoming a couple are significant: Henry is white, Flora is black, and this is Depression-era Seattle. But their similarities outweigh their differences; at 17, they’re both orphans, musicians, and—unbeknownst to them—the current players in the centuries-old contest between Love and Death. Death’s player, Flora, is a singer and aspiring aviatrix; Henry, chosen by Love, plays bass and baseball. Airplanes and music bring Henry and Flora together, and though they feel something immediately, Flora, with a pessimism born of experience, is sure it can’t work. Love and Death are on the scene in human guises, manipulating people and events, and the book is really a tale of two couples: Henry and Flora, as well as the ultimate opposites-attract pair, Love and Death. Brock- enbrough (Devine Intervention) never sugarcoats the obstacles facing Henry and Flora’s love—whether human prejudices or supernatural manipulations—in this inventive and affecting novel, and the ending in which Flora, who has seen too many people die, realizes how love and death intertwine, is beautiful. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Tempting the fates
Love and Death are inexorably intertwined. Love seeks to fulfill life; Death seeks to end it. In The Game of Love and Death, Love and Death take an active role in this eternal struggle, each selecting a player at birth and then competing to see if the players fall in love or if they die. It is a hard-fought game filled with subterfuge, manipulation and deep passion, and in the centuries that they have played, Love has never won.
Flora Saudade and Henry Bishop are about as different as two people can be. And in Seattle in 1937, they should have no reason to meet, let alone spend time together. But Henry, the white adopted son of a wealthy newspaper magnate, and Flora, a black airplane mechanic and owner of a jazz club, not only meet but fall in love. Against all odds, it looks as if Love might win the game for the first time. However, Death is not so easily defeated.
The Game of Love and Death is a unique and deeply moving novel. Beautiful language, original characters and a haunting story draw the reader into a relationship that is forbidden both by the era and by the master of the game. It’s heartbreaking to the end.