One day you wake up and find all the pieces of your chess set gone. They have fled and implanted themselves in a board of another game. It can't be, you protest, it makes no sense. Chess pieces belong to the chess board. Their meaning is dictated by its board of sixty-four squares. Outside of it they are but an aberration. These rooks, knights, bishops, pawns, kings and queens had always been with this sixty-four square board for at least two thousand years.
The wayward chess pieces, however, begin to move. They dance before your eyes and show you that they can also play in their new home. Then you see that they have become more beautiful than any other board game you've ever seen.
Anne Michaels is a poet, acclaimed for her exceptional vision and originality, with two award-winning books of poetry. She wrote this novel, her first, long before her soul has run out of verses. Poems have escaped from her dreamed off books of poetry, became her fugitive pieces, and created this novel in a language so breathtakingly beautiful that many times I felt like weeping even if I was no longer sure I understand what the author is saying.
Dog-earing one achingly exquisite page after another, that was--I realized--what I've done, all the while trying not to faint, until in the end I saw that I've practically mangled the book, making its upper part swollen, like they've been drenched with tears and left in the sun to dry.
A novel about loss (of a sibling, above all), grief and remembrance. One astonishing literary miracle; and one grand stupidity on my part as I've had this book, unread, since July 10, 2006!