Ivo is forty years old and at first we don't know much about him apart from the fact he is dying in a hospice.He doesn't want any visitors and seems resigned to just lying in his bed waiting for the end to come. Sheila, his nurse, suggests a game to him to help keep his mind active and spirits up. He has to name a part of his body for each letter of the alphabet and remember a story about himself to go with it. This makes him recall events from his past and we start to find out more about him as well as his family, friends and girlfriend Mia.
Some parts of the story are incredibly sad and I was in tears on a few occasions. Despite this I didn't find the book a depressing read and rattled through it quickly. It looks at relationships in a different way to anything I've read before and I enjoyed finding out about decisions and mistakes Ivo had made in his life. It is wonderfully well written and hard to believe this is James Hannah's debut novel. Very early on I felt this was going to be a book I loved and I was right.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Thank you to Transworld and Netgalley for a review copy.