Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin is my favourite novel.
Not because it’s an awe-inspiring adventure, an epic Fantasy story, or just because it’s a stunning piece of writing. It is my favourite novel because I read it in a period of my life where I contemplated everything; there was nothing I understood, nothing I knew, and nothing I wanted to know. Something that some people may recognize as depression.
I’m not sure why I picked up this book, I don’t even remember buying it. I think someone else gave it to me, and it was a book that got thrown aside because I didn’t much care for reading at the time. One day I found it, and without knowing what it was about, I read it.
Elsewhere is the story of a teenage girl who wakes up to find herself aboard a cruise ship. It’s not just any cruise ship, though, she’s not heading for some far away, exotic destination, she’s not heading back home; she’s going to a place called Elsewhere, where those who have died go to after they pass.
There is little to say about this novel otherwise. While it’s a touching story, in my opinion, it’s definitely not a novel for everyone. The novel became my favourite because it made me see that life isn’t exactly one way, but that it can be up and down and sideways and backwards. It helped me understand death, it taught me how to cope with it, and it made me realize that the death of someone else isn’t the end of my life. It’s just another fork in the road, forcing you down the path filled with chainsaw sharks jumping out of potholes, and along the way it’s teaching you how to deal with each of those new obstacles.
I just wanted to share my opinion on the book. For those who it has helped; I’m glad. For those who did not understand it; I understand you.