By Jordanna Fraiberg
'Their red beaks let out what sounded like a distress call, a discordant, screaming cacophony, as if they were at war with the swaggering hunk of brass. But as they dispersed into the open sky, their squawks became less urgent, blending into a harmonious song they belted out in unison. With their bright green wings, they glided through the clouds as one, singing at a pitch I'd never heard before.
(...) "You know what that is," Nick said, looking up at the sky. "That's the sound of freedom."'
They say near-death experiences change you. But no one ever said 'for the better'.
Olive Bell had a near-fatal car accident. Yet there was nothing near about her experience. Olive died. Her heart stopped beating for almost three full minutes.
But paramedics brought her back to life - forcing her to face a world she's no longer sure she belongs in.
'It felt like I was looking at a tableau frozen in time before the accident. As if a thin layer of gauze had fallen over the entire neighbourhood, enshrouding it from the rest of the world like a cocoon. This must be what a parallel universe is like, I thought. Everything looked the same, but I suddenly felt like it wasn't. Like everything had been taken apart, brick by brick, flower bed by flower bed, and put back together in the wrong order. Like me.'How can you move on when you're stuck living in yesterday?
Our Song is a story about adapting to change. About second chances. And about realising who you are and accepting what you find.
Olive's world turned upside down after the accident. And the situation only becomes worse as she continues to live in 'Olive World' - the world of yesterday, where she's the perfect daughter, gets good grades, and has an amazing boyfriend who she adores. She doesn't realise that everything has changed.
That she has changed.
Sometimes we as human beings need to take a step back from our lives and gain a different perspective. To re-assess where we stand, who we are, and what we're doing. People tended to suffocate Olive, pressuring her to be the Olive they all knew. The whole Olive. The happy Olive. The Olive who had never experienced true loss or true pain.
Sometimes we need someone to guide us...to show us the way through the darkness and into the light.
Nick is that 'someone' for Olive. He has no expectations of her - he sees the new Olive, and likes her for who she is. Nick gives Olive the chance to view the world as never before - showing her the little things like hidden places, different facets of society, the thrill of adventure, the beauty in the world around us and the magic in the simple moments.
And Olive in turn begins to see that perhaps the accident wasn't the end for her. That maybe she was given a second chance at life for a reason.
"It's just that, do you ever wonder what if things happened differently? Like, what if we actually died and there was nothing near about it? What if we weren't supposed to come back?" I'd avoided thinking of my accident and the events leading up to it for so long that I'd barely thought about what would have happened if it had all really ended that night.Music is a healing force - soothing both mind and heart.
He was quiet for a second. "All the time."
"Then sometimes I think we must have survived for a reason. But what are we supposed to do with that?"
The story also has snippets of a gorgeous song, whose melody I would simply love to hear one day. The lyrics are interwoven through the storyline, bringing our two characters, Nick and Olive, closer together.
'I see your face all over the placeRead more about Olive's journey and pick up a copy of Our Song today!
Like a haunting from above
The only way for this to pass
Is to let go of your love.
Your voice is like an angel
I can hear without sound.
My leaden heart starts floating
Whenever you're around.
When I wake I see your face
Even through the fog that leaves no trace
I will hear you long after you're gone
Mingled with the earth your heart beats on.
On the infinite horizon
Where you and I belong
As the silver moon is rising
That's when they'll play our song.
Booknut's Song Pick: White Lines & Red Lights by Between the Trees