This is a beautiful and haunting book that follows two doomed lovers throughout the courses of seven lifetimes. It opens with Eric Seven arriving on an island where the sun does not go down, there are no children, and he recognizes Merle, as an old friend, long forgotten, although he is just meeting her for the first time. The island, Blessed Island, is also believed to be home to the only surviving population of a very rare orchid: the Blessed Dragon Orchid.
I have always been fascinated in the concept of reincarnation and this story increases my fascination as the mosaic of Eric and Merle's incarnations come together to form a beautiful and intricate pattern. They start out as husband and wife. In one life, they are siblings. In another life, mother and son. In yet another life, they come together in the form of an unlikely friendship between a young child and an embittered old man. They cycle throughout each other's lives in varying degrees of separation and closeness with varying degrees of memory until they reincarnate as the same ages where they can be possible lovers again.
The ending is bittersweet. Not the kind of ending I had hoped for, but it fits the spirit of the story.
I am a children's librarian who has a master's degree in library and information science from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., which I received in May 2012. I am an avid reader who reads children's, young adult, and adult literature.