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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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The Probability of Miracles

The Probability of Miracles - Wendy Wunder THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES arrived mysteriously at my door one December day. Cancer is a sticky situation in my family right now. I went to the ER last night with my grandfather and grabbed this book on my way out the door. My grandfather has Stage IV colorectal cancer and has gotten progressively weaker the past few weeks. While I finished this book in one sitting while waiting for 12 hours in the ER, my parents were told that all that science can do has been exhausted and that they were calling in hospice (for a second time). Somehow, reading the story of Campbell Cooper and her ordeals with being told this by her oncologist that there is nothing else to be done, made things a little easier on me.The story revolves around Cam, a rebellious teenager who has had cancer for several years and gone through every treatment known to man. When the doctor tells her they’ve exhausted their options and that the end is near, her mother takes one last step – packs Cam and her sister Perry up and moves them from the shadow of Disney World to the tiny, hidden town of Promise, Maine, known for its miracles. And things in Promise are strange – flamingoes randomly appearing, sunsets that last forever, and a boy that sweeps Cam off her feet when she thinks that she’s never going to be able to love.There are many “miracles” in Cam’s life, and exploring how letting go, accepting fate, and living her life to the fullest is touching. Her family and friends are for the most part fully fleshed out, with a few exceptions. I loved Cam and her spunk, even though her constant dirges about death got annoying after awhile. While this book could have dealt with the topic in so many different ways (the topic being death), the path it took was wonderful, heartbreaking, and heartwarming at all the same time. If I hadn’t been in a hospital faced with some really hot doctors, I might have cried a little at parts.Cam is an amazing character. Paired with writing that flows well without excessive flourishes, THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES becomes a solid debut novel from an author that will definitely be one to watch. But I did have a few issues with it. At times I felt detached from the characters, particularly during a strong moment where Cam has to come to grips with the reality of a friendship, and at the end I wasn’t hit as hard as I could have been. The end was also slightly ambiguous in my mind, which left a gaping hole of wonder as to what really happened. Then again, it was 1 AM and I’d been listening to beeping instruments all day. Not fun.Overall, THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES was a heartwarming novel. Dealing with cancer in the family right now, it gave me a look through a different set of eyes and filled my soul with hope. But even if you’re not in the same boat as me, it is definitely a novel full of charm and miracles. You will get lost in its pages and find hope at the end.VERDICT: Even though it deals with a very hard topic, THE PROBABILITY OF MIRACLES is heartwarming, enchanting, and full of life. If you like your hard hitting contemporary mixed with warm aspects, this book is for you.