Sunday’s father is dying of cancer. They’ve come home to Malagash, on the north shore of Nova Scotia, so he can die where he grew up. Her mother and her brother are both devastated. But devastated isn’t good enough. Devastated doesn’t fix anything. Sunday has a plan.
She’s started recording everything her father says. His boring stories. His stupid jokes. Everything. She’s recording every single “I love you” right alongside every “Could we turn the heat up in here?” It’s all important.
Because Sunday is writing a computer virus. A computer virus that will live secretly on the hard drives of millions of people all over the world. A computer virus that will think her father’s thoughts and say her father’s words. She has thousands of lines of code to write. Cryptography to understand. Exploits to test. She doesn’t have time to be sad. Her father is going to live forever.
5/5 stars. Contemporary, Young Adult, Loss, Computer Code.
Malagash is a super quick read that told its story so concise, I don’t think there is anything that could possibly be cut without destroying the story. The grief felt so real, I had to keep reminding myself it was fiction. Sunday’s father felt real and I could see why she loved him.
Also, I loved the interior and exterior of this book. It is tiny – tiny in dimensions, tiny in page count, tiny amount of words on the page because of large margins, tiny chapters, delicate font.
The language is beautiful, as in the quote in the above image: “I don’t want my father to die. He knows. Every day I don’t want him to die, and every day he knows. Simon doesn’t want him to die, either. ‘I know, Simon,’ says my father on the recording, more gently than he says those words to me. or maybe he’s just being gentle in a different way. I don’t know how I will transcribe any of this. The way he sounds, talking to my little brother, is different from how he sounds when talking just to me.”
The writing is so beautiful while remain simplistic and effortless – which is the absolute hardest thing in the world to achieve.
I’m kind of in love with this book.
I actually got it for free – which is not affecting my opinion of it – from a press at a conference. I love how the cover feels, and the font, and the writing, and the way Sunday handles grief. I love how she comes to realize the same person is different to all of us and how she deals with that. I love how she is both passive and active in character at the same time. I loved to watch her relationship with her brother change through the eminent loss of her father.
The concept may not be 100% original (I’ve heard of consciousnesses turned into computers so someone could live forever in it before [Transcendence with Johnny Depp]) but Malagash does it softly. Like I said earlier, Sunday is a character who is both active and passive at the same time. Even in her action, she is subtle, where Transcendence was a super in-your-face version.
I think I’ve gotten my point across – loved it.
I marked this as a young adult novel, but I think it is something basically anyone can enjoy. At it’s heart, its a story about the loss of a parent and most of us have either experienced it or thought about what that would be like.
Find it on Amazon here.
Or from the publisher here.