I’m always a stickler for reading books in order -- including their novellas -- but it was really hard to keep myself from diving into Requiem first. Especially because Raven wasn’t exactly one of my favorite characters. I’ve said it before, but so many times it’s true: the book you expect to like the least will end up being the one you love the most. Raven was my favorite of the novellas from The Delirium Series. I have a whole new opinion of this head-strong, fiery character; and her relationship with Tack led to some extremely beautiful moments in this short story:
“So we've made up our own language, in the way we press chest to chest and the way we touch noses when we kiss. I get to say his name - his real name. A name that brings a taste of sunshine, and of sunshine raising mist from the trees, and of mist reaching toward the sky. His secret name, which belongs to me, and to him, and to no one else.”
The details in the ‘then and now’ of Raven’s life were extremely captivating. I loved seeing the more vulnerable side of Raven, and there were several revelations that brought me to tears.“… when I knew we’d both been saved – that night, I thought I knew God, just for a second.”
Raven’s backstory intermixed with the accounts of what happened at the end of Pandemonium but told from her perspective was not only enlightening but a great recap before beginning the next book. It refreshed the details for me and put me in the perfect place to begin the final book.“Lies are just stories, and stories are all that matter. We all tell stories. Some are more truthful than others, maybe, but in the end the only thing that counts is what you can make people believe.”
I’m so glad I read this first, because there is a particular piece of information included that is never brought to light in Requiem. A detail that really impacts the way a certain moment in Requiem affects the reader. Even if you didn’t read Hana or Annabel or if you’ve already read Requiem, this short story is not to be missed. It’s a stunning reminder of ‘never judge a book by its cover’ and of just how extraordinary Ms. Oliver’s writing is!
“That’s what you do for family. Anything.”