337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.
While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.
Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes.
But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.
This was a compulsive read, it took me less than a day to finish it and though I found it kind of depressing in parts I was completely invested in the story and I wanted to find out what had happened.
I have to admit that I didn’t get what the upside-down pages were about. I think I started at the wrong end because I read them after finishing the story and actually it looks like you’re supposed to start with them. It doesn’t seem to make a difference to the story though, I thought maybe there was going to be an alternate viewpoint or some sort of secret added in there but unless I’m missing something there isn’t.
* Please note the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only. *
For me, 337 was all about Sam’s relationship with his family. His mother disappeared without a trace when he was a young boy and 20 years later Sam seems to be estranged from all his family. Now his grandma is dying and he reluctantly sits with her for her last few days. At first, he doesn’t want to be there due to a serious fall out in their past but he reconnects with her and his heart opens back up to her.
I found this very moving and quite sad to read – Sam seems very lonely and lost at the start, he is separated from his wife, he has no family around him, and he has a job he sleepwalks his way through. But when he visits his grandma and starts to talk to her about his past and he gets back in touch with his brother he seems to realise that the way he sees events are not necessarily the way that everyone else saw them.
It’s like he has been frozen since his mother left but his visit to his grandma forces him to open back up to his family and start to deal with what happened.
This is very moving, compelling reading and despite being hard going at times (I had to put it down halfway through and have a bit of a break) it ends on an upbeat mood.
And for those that don’t like books that don’t give an answer to their big mystery, don’t worry, you do actually find out what happened. Sort of.
I received a free copy in return for an honest review.