In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist
(Translated by Henning Koch)
A story that is set in Sweden about loss and grief except this is not a novel, this is in fact a factual story of Tom and his partner of 10 years Karin. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist is the bestselling and award winning story that took the Nordic countries by storm.
The story starts with Karin being rushed to hospital with what they believe is a serious bout of flu. Karin is heavily pregnant with their first child. The baby is delivered safely but Karin’s condition is beginning to worsen very soon it transpires that what Karin is suffering from is acute Leukemia and despite the best efforts by the medical team Karin loses her brave fight. Tom’s world has just crashed but he knows he must keep strong as he faces bringing up baby Livia on his own.
Through the heart-breaking opening chapter’s, we meet Tom’s and Karin’s immediate family members and Tom’s friends as it becomes clear that Karin’s condition is worsening. Then having to take in the news that their daughter has lost her fight as well as trying to be there for Tom as his life plan is shattered.
Throughout this story Tom’s writing is at times clinical and others just poetic as we see Tom trying to grieve for Karin at times he comes across as being too hard on those around him but Tom’s own world and his plans for his family have been totally destroyed he is trying to survive one day at a time, from the moment he wakes up and seemingly every minute of every day trying to get through one day at a time. Then there is Tom’s father who is also very ill so the pressure on Tom is just immense I can feel the need to be alone and grieve for his wife alone.
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive could well be a private love letter to his wife Karin and something that his daughter Livia will read when she is able to understand and through these pages she will come to meet the mother she never knew and how her father grieved for her while bringing up Livia up alone. At times utterly heart-wrenching but so tenderly written and told. I have read many books on grief and this will remain with me for a long time to come.
Thank you to Sceptre for the advanced review copy.
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive by Tom Malmquist is published by Sceptre and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.