The paperback of this big bestseller was published last week. I had bought the hardback for myself when it was first published, so this blogtour provided the impetus to rescue it from being buried in my TBR piles.
It begins with a harrowing scenario.
Isaac Addy stands on a bridge, unsure whether to jump or not. […]
He grips the parapet so hard that it cuts into his fingers. Then finally, he screams. […]
The forest holds its breath. Time seems to stand still. Then, out of nowhere, something screams back.
The third of those three sentences picked from the first four pages, will pull Isaac back from the brink for now, for he is drawn into the woods beyond the bridge where in a clearing he will find a two feet tall egg, which he rescues and takes home. Isaacs head is full of questions. I just loved the way some of the pages have shaped text, like the egg-shaped passage (left), one of several throughout the book.
Isaac and the egg begin to form a relationship, as it’s soon clear that Egg is more than just an egg; it has fur and big eyes and screams at him again, but in a friendly way!
We soon surmise that Isaac is mired in a spiral of grief for his late wife, whose ashes he is keeping in a biscuit tin. He’s in denial, not looking after himself at all, not answering his door, not going to work, not responding to his sister Joy’s messages.
I could say more, but you need to discover it for yourself.
An obvious point of comparison for Isaac and the egg is with Matt Haig’s The Night Library reviewed here, but with an added homage to the film E.T.. Palmer’s mix of bittersweet comedy and tragedy is of a similar style to that of Haig. He’ll have you laughing at Egg’s antics one moment, and tearing up at Isaac’s despair the next. Isaac and the egg is also charming and quirky and ultimately uplifting, a case of friendship when Isaac needed it most. You can’t fail to love this novel.
Source: Own copy. Headline, 2022. Paperback, 277 pages.
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