Official Review: Too Late to Mourn

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Mercy Bolo
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Official Review: Too Late to Mourn

Post by Mercy Bolo » 07 Mar 2018, 18:23

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Too Late to Mourn" by Christian Tyoder and Lynn Tyoder.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Too Late to Mourn: The Intricacy of my Friend's Life by Christian Tyoder and Lynn Tyoder is a historical fiction novel based on real-life events. It's the story of a brief but unlikely friendship between Hans Reinberg, a 28-year-old doctoral graduate, and Abdulai Rasulov, a retired doctor. The two find themselves waiting out a snowstorm in a cafeteria in Paris. This inconvenient force of nature has them bonding and eventually agreeing to carpool to their various destinations. From this moment on, they are basically stuck with each other and by the time they say their goodbyes, the young Hans has become deeply fond of his old friend.

It's a sad but casual goodbye as the two part ways and Hans is quite surprised when Abdulai makes a request asking him to one day write the memoir of his life. This he accepts, not knowing that that was the last time he would ever see or hear from his friend again. It is revealed later on that he wasn't the only one who missed an opportunity to say a proper goodbye to Abdulai, hence the relevance of the book's title.

Given the vast amount of detail contained in the 305 pages of this book, It's not one to be rushed through. Although it started out slow, in the beginning, the pace steadily picked up and by the time I got past the first two chapters, I was fully invested in the characters. From childhood, Abdulai was a charismatic and obedient boy who gracefully carried these qualities into his adult life. It's inspiring how consistent his character traits are and I picked up valuable lessons on hard work and compassion from him. The other characters featured in the book, mainly his family members and co-workers were also well-formed but none of them stood out to me as much as Abdulai Rasulov (Abd) did.

The story is consistently told from the third person point of view, except for instances where correspondence letters between individuals are shared. Abd being a highly accomplished academic in the medical field, there are numerous medical terminologies used. These coupled with a few legal terminologies were a bit difficult to grasp but the services of a dictionary came in handy.

Amidst the reality of Abd's life, themes of war, friendship, religion, discrimination, depression, family and cultural values are well tackled. This is done in accordance with the time period, given that the book is set in the 20th century. I especially liked how the authors painted an accurate picture of the various scenarios. From the flow of the story, I could envision the life of an Afghan refugee, challenges faced by an Arab immigrant to Europe, the pain of a divorced, single, dad, a conniving ex-wife's evil plot and the obstacles faced by a young woman trying to get in touch with her roots.

There were several moments when I paused to reflect on my own relationship with my family members. From this story, it dawned on me that people should be appreciated while they still live and that to have a fruitful life, monetary wealth shouldn't be placed before things that money can't buy.

Due to the multiple typos I encountered, like misspelled words, use of the wrong form of a verb and misspelled names, I won't give this book a full rating but will award it 3 out of 4 stars. These issues could easily be reconciled with a round of editing.

This being a poignant and reflective read, I would recommend it to students of psychology, immigrants and anyone seeking to strengthen the bond with their family members.

******
Too Late to Mourn
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Post by Dispark » 13 Mar 2018, 01:30

Fascinating story of friendship between a young Doctor and a retired one. I recommend this book to medical students

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 13 Mar 2018, 04:23

Dispark wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 01:30
Fascinating story of friendship between a young Doctor and a retired one. I recommend this book to medical students
I agree with you. Medical students could grasp a few concepts from it.
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Post by cristinaro » 13 Mar 2018, 06:30

This novel makes me think of the intercultural world we are living in. The two doctors you mention seem to have different roots - Hans Reinberg (German by his name) and Abdulai Rasulov, an Afghan immigrant from what I understood. They meet during a snow storm in Paris. I think that such stories are always welcome in the fight against racism and discrimination. Thank you!
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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Mar 2018, 06:41

This sounds unique and defintely character driven. It is one that likely makes you reflect. I'm not sure I'm in the mood for this at the moment, but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks.
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Post by kennitso » 14 Mar 2018, 01:47

Wow such an amazing book.

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Post by kislany » 14 Mar 2018, 04:27

This sounds like an interesting read. The topic is certainly very timely in many parts of the world. Thanks for a great review.

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Mar 2018, 08:25

cristinaro wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 06:30
This novel makes me think of the intercultural world we are living in. The two doctors you mention seem to have different roots - Hans Reinberg (German by his name) and Abdulai Rasulov, an Afghan immigrant from what I understood. They meet during a snowstorm in Paris. I think that such stories are always welcome in the fight against racism and discrimination. Thank you!
This story drives home the point that despite a variance in our background and physical appearance, we are all human.
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 14 Mar 2018, 21:01

Wow, I saw my self connect with the author in this book through this review, amazing! I have a happy knack for psychology definitely worth giving a shot at. Thank you for sharing
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Post by Camille Turner » 15 Mar 2018, 21:53

Nice review. What really got me intrigued was your description of how these two characters initially meet and then the story shifts into revealing the past through this idea of a memoir. Very interesting!

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Post by NL Hartje » 16 Mar 2018, 16:31

It's so nice to hear about such well-developed characters! Thanks for this review!
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Post by Jkhorner » 19 Mar 2018, 08:00

It's a shame about the editing, but this sounds like a fascinating and lifelike story! Abd seems to be a character one can look up to. Thank you for reading and reviewing!

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Post by kwame1977 » 25 Mar 2018, 05:31

The best of friends must part one day. Sometimes very sad but a necessity. A good review.

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Post by ritah » 30 Mar 2018, 09:13

Sounds like a good read.
I wonder what happened to Abdulai, and why he chose Hans to write a memoir about his life, given their brief friendship...
I'm going to sample this one, see if it is for me.

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Post by qsusan » 05 Apr 2018, 09:46

ritah wrote:
30 Mar 2018, 09:13
Sounds like a good read.
I wonder what happened to Abdulai, and why he chose Hans to write a memoir about his life, given their brief friendship...
I'm going to sample this one, see if it is for me.
I also wonder why Hans chose Abdulai to write his story.
What did he see or feel in the brief time they were together to make such a request. And what made him confident that Abdulai would write his story as he wished it to be written despite the lack of his personal input?

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