Genre: Science Fiction
Pub Date: 10.4.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
“Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic—including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.”
“She returns in sudden flashes. Like scraps of half-remembered dreams.”
I’m not going to lie; I was thrown off for the first few pages because I went into this book without reading the summary. I didn’t want preconceived ideas, so I started reading and discovered that 1. There are no quotation marks, and 2. It’s a dystopian novel. I switched to listening to the book through Libro.FM (because I can’t handle no quotation marks) and then adapted my brain to take in a science fiction story.
Our Missing Hearts is a novel that will stay with me because it felt almost unsettling accurate, and prophetic. The whole book circles around love, friendship, and sacrifice and just how far some would go for strangers. The ambiguous ending left me feeling both gutted and hopeful.
📖 Perfect book club pick
No quotation marks!
❗️ Authors note is a must read
🏼 Themes of love, friendship & sacrifice
🥺 Felt unnervingly true & prophetic
❌ Graphic assault of a woman and her dog.
I recommend reading Our Missing Hearts if you enjoyed the poetic writing style of The Goldfinch.
Format: 352 pages, hardback
Published: October 2022
ISBN 0593492544 (ISBN13: 9780593492543)