Ed is a nineteen year old cab driver. His life is pretty empty, he plays cards with his friends, is in love with a girl who doesn’t want him back and has a mother who shows him no love. When he stops a bank robbery he becomes a local hero and a playing card arrives in the post. Written on it are three addresses and corresponding times.
It is a story of how little things can make huge differences in people’s lives. Ed sees himself as a messenger. He goes from address to address, working out what is wrong in each person’s life. Some things are small and some things are huge. He gets into trouble but he also finds friends.
It reads a little like a collection of short stories. As always for a book group read, I left it last minute and had to read in one go. I wonder if I would have preferred dipping into, reading one address at a time as the linking elements between the stories didn’t pull it together enough. Each individual story is heart-warming and delivers a positive message. Overall I found it a rather sweet book.
As most of you will know Markus Zusak as the author of The Book Thief, it is tempting to compare the two. This is a very different novel but that doesn’t make it bad. It’s not currently published in the UK but you can get second hand copies and Amazon will order it for you if you are prepared to wait. As The Book Thief is one of World Book Night’s featured titles, lets hope there will be an appetite for more Zusak in the future.