A rare snowfall dusts her town with a thin layer of unforecast, giddy snow that has melted by the time her family -- school cancelled, work aborted -- boards the Buick on an impromptu, self-made holiday. Beethoven's Cello Sonata no. 3 plays on the radio until it is overwhelmed by "a symphony of grinding, a chorus of popping, an aria of exploding, and finally, the sad clapping of hard metal cutting into soft trees." All are death-silenced but the one uncertain cellist of the aforementioned no longer happy life.
While her body is in coma, Mia's consciousness watches the grieving who call, pray, promise, plead and, of course, sing to her, entreating her to stay. Adam pulls her with his need. He can bear not having her to love if she leaves for Julliard, but he cannot bear for her not to "be," so stay among the living, please.
Mia's memories blend with the scenes at the hospital, the living and the dead wandering among one another elucidating the choices to be made and the depth of what is lost. What arises from Mia's bedside is a gorgeously told, heart aching romance, not just with Adam, but with life.
Reviewed by Vivian