From the first paragraph, you are thoroughly aware that this isn’t your typical Young Adult fare. It’s a most unusual and unique tale that is told in an old-fashioned manner. It is bright and hopeful; it is shadowy and piercing. And while you might feel a little removed, as though you are watching this story unfold in a newsreel, you will still root for Love to win the game just this once.
Love and Death have played a game for many centuries, you see, and they are choosing their next participants. Well, it’s more a combination of victim and participant, since these souls know nothing of the game. The victicipants, Henry and Flora, have already suffered greatly. Both have lost their parents at a young age and have lived altered lives because of it. But they are also very hopeful, and once they meet, their destiny is set into motion.
Since you are told the rules from the get-go, you know you shouldn’t get attached to Henry and Flora. After all, destiny is destiny, and Death has never lost. But then you just can’t help it; you have to care. There’s always that spark of optimism that some third being can and must intervene on the couple’s behalf.
It’s 1937, though, and there are many things that a woman can’t do and even more that are not possible due to skin color. Flora has left school, ever since noticing that her grandmother wasn’t getting around like she used to. At night, she sings at The Domino, the club that she owns with her uncle. It had been her parents’ before they died. During the day, Flora works at the local airfield where she can be close to her true passion: flying.
Henry’s best friend, Ethan, and his prominent family took him in when his father died. They have a lot more than many, and Henry knows he is expected to remember that. All he wants to do is play his bass violin, but Mr. Thorne does not consider music as a profession. When Henry sees Flora, climbing all over an airplane like she was born there, he can’t tear his eyes away. He must know her. Someday. Soon.
Love and Death keep a close eye on Henry and Flora, interfering as much as the rules allow. And just when it seems like everything is going to plan, it all changes.
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough was published April 28, 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library for review.
Genre: Young Adult New Adult Fantasy Historical Fiction Romance