What a weird and absolutely lovely story. Based on the description alone, I had my doubts I would enjoy this book. But a few other readers I trust said they loved this story, so I decided to give it a chance.
Shark Heart follows Lewis and his wife, Wren, as they navigate Lewis’ transformation into a great white shark. Sounds weird right? It is but at the same time, this metamorphosis, where humans turn into animals seems to have been around for the past 60 years in the book’s universe, and my own mind used it as a metaphor for terminal diseases (i.e. cancer) and the coping families deal with.
Divided into four parts, I loved the unique way the story was told. Parts one and two are primarily from Wren and Lewis’ perspectives and a journey through their love story. While part three is mainly from Wren’s mother Angela’s perspective. Part four is a mixture, and while it might seem like each part is a separate story, it all ties together seamlessly at the end. Each part was fully flushed out and added an immense amount of depth to the story.
There are flashbacks woven into each of their narratives and some interesting side characters, who are coping with similar diagnosis. These along with Play Scripts sprinkled throughout the story really enhances the magical realism and dreamy atmosphere Habeck’s put together.
This book was a quick read and since I a digital copy, I didn’t even realize it’s suppose to be over 400 pages long. With short chapters and beautiful prose, I wished it was longer.
Regardless of how odd the synopsis makes this story sound, it’s beautifully written. These is so much love, heartbreak, and longing in these pages and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something imaginative and lovingly written. I can’t believe this is a debut and can’t wait for more from Habeck.
Death Valley comes out October 3, 2023. Huge thank you to Scribner for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books.