Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora. For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.
Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance? Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.
The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.
Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
The Game Of Love And Death is a one-of-a-kind story, complete with a fascinating concept, realistic characters, and unique setting. I hadn’t heard much about it before reading, but I would definitely recommend this book!
The concept is something I’ve never seen done before. As it says in the blurb, the “Game” is played between Death and Love (who are disguised as humans, in this version at least!) They select two players: a wealthy white boy named Henry, and Flora, who is an African-American with dreams of being a pilot. Love’s goal is to make them fall in love with each other, and Death wants to keep them apart. The Game Of Love And Death is the story of Flora and Henry, and their complicated relationship. What I loved was how the author managed to take two concepts (Death and Love) and turn them into two believable characters. Not only were they realistic, but they could also be funny at times!
Henry was a pretty interesting character. He’s technically an orphan, but he was adopted by a wealthy family as a child, and he has been well-off for most of his life. He’s very kind, and it was easy to root for him throughout the story. Henry was rather naive at the beginning, but he grew a lot throughout the book, and ended up being a fantastic character.
My favourite character wasn’t Henry, though, but rather Flora. She is an African American in the early 1900s who dreams of being a pilot. She has a positive attitude, and she’s determined to reach her goal. While training to be a pilot, she sings at her uncle’s club each night to earn money for her plane. She’s a great example of a strong heroine who is fierce without being muscular, intimidating or snarky. She believes in herself, and is willing to sacrifice a lot to achieve her goal.
I really like the wide range of characters in this book. There are young character, old characters, and characters of different ethnicities. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The characters are very diverse, and I loved that! It felt very realistic. I also LOVE the fact that this book is set in the 1930s (1920s?). I haven’t read many books set in this time period, so I really appreciate the fact that it was used as the setting here. The author’s descriptions of this time period felt very well-done, and the treatment that Flora had to endure as an African American felt very realistic.
The ending was really interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I understand why the author ended it that way, but still. I can’t discuss this more without spoilers but if you have read The Game of Love and Death and want to discuss, hit me up! Overall, however, I really enjoyed The Game Of Love And Death! The concept was something I had never seen done before, the characters were interesting, and the diversity was definitely appreciated. 4 stars.