Title: The Waking
Author: Matthew Smith
Publisher: Wundor Editions
Publication Date: September 11, 2017
My Rating: 4.5⭐
The Waking is the debut novel of Matthew Smith.
Initially, the story seems to be a bit vague but as the plot unfolds you start to understand things in a better way.
As a reader, you are at the place of Isabel. Reading this novel is like experiencing her journey yourself.
The story is ambiguous at various points, as there are a few questions which were left unanswered for the readers to make their own interpretations. There is a lot of reading between the lines.
It is really different from all other thriller or suspense novels.
The suicide of Marianne is the central theme of the book but how everyone has been affected by it and what do they know about it varies from person to person. Love, loss, friendships, different personality traits of characters, decisions made on the spur of the moment but regretting later, mental health issues and inability to know everything are somethings which are very natural. Like our lives the story demands acceptance. We need to accept the things as it is, learn from the experiences and move on. And so is the story.
The author has a very beautiful poetic writing style. You can’t have enough of the book. You wish the story to continue even after it is finished.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with Matthew Smith
Falguni: I read the novel and absolutely loved it. It is very different from other stories.
But there were some questions which were left unanswered. Is there a sequel to the book which answers those questions of the readers.
Matthew Smith: There may be, but I have no plans for a sequel as yet! But the book is really about what cannot be said, trying to live with mystery, which is what happens when someone you love dies. Like Isabel, the reader has to interpret things as well, as they can and make peace with mystery. Ultimately accepting that we can’t control or fully solve the narratives of our lives, and then peace can emerge as well as our own personal sense of meaning.
That is the meaning of the final line: “The dead are not equations to be solved, any more than the waking.”
And definitely, I think that while the novel stands alone, for now, there is an option for a sequel in future.
Falguni: That’s so true what you said about the uncontrollable nature of life. But still, there arise questions about the personality of the characters and why they did what they did. What would you like to say about it?
Matthew Smith: I’d like to leave them for you to decide – I do have my own answers but I think it would spoil it if you weren’t free to make your own mind up!
Falguni: Thank you so much, Matthew Smith, for your time and patience to answer my questions. I wish you all the luck for your upcoming ventures and life.