University students Thora and Santi meet by chance and discover that although they have different views on life, they share a love of the stars and for adventure. Santi’s strong faith in God makes him confident He has a plan for everyone’s path. Thora believes in freewill and making her own choices to determine her own fate.
Thora has enjoyed meeting someone who really understands her and accepts her for who she is. A few days later, she is trying to figure out how she and Santi can be best friends without giving him the idea she’s interested in a romantic relationship when she learns that he has fallen from the clock tower in a terrible accident.
“Meet Me in Another Life” is written in vignettes. In the next vignette, Santi is back—as a science teacher. Thora is his 7-year-old student. Although he can’t quite put his finger on it, he feels a strong connection to her.
Thora and Santi also appear as lovers, a parent and child, siblings, a doctor and patient, and colleagues, among other relationships. They always meet in Cologne, and their different lives revolve around the same landmarks. Their cast of supporting characters also remains the same, although their roles sometimes change. And the novel begins to feel like an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
Through the novel, the characters learn a little more about themselves and each other—they will be both their best selves and their worst. Eventually, Santi and Thora begin to remember their past lives. Curiosity drives them to figure out why their lives reset, and they realize that they don’t have an infinite number of lives after all. They have to work together to discover a way to end the resets so they can move on with their real lives.
Catriona Silvey’s début novel is thought provoking. How much are you you? And how much of you is influenced by those closest to you? The people who are important to you—are you destined to meet them or do you meet them by chance? As for the mystery at the core of the novel, the clues are spread throughout the stories, but they are not so obvious that they spoil the resolution. “Meet Me in Another Life” is an inventive novel that kept me turning pages and has stayed with me afterward.
Tara Lee is a news assistant and Communities editor at The Free Lance–Star.