Author: Rea Nolan Martin
Published: September 15th 2015 by Wiawaka Press
Hannah is struggling with a failed marriage. Her idea of nursing a broken heart is gulping down wine and extravagantly spending money on things that catches her fancy on the television, just to chase away the shadows of loneliness surrounding her while at the same time pining for her now ex-husband, Jonah. A phone call from Mitsy, her elder sister offers her a way out in the form of caring for her niece, Sydney. Just as she was entertaining the thought of writing an award-winning book to pay ever-increasing bills.
At the same time in California, Mitsy is struggling with the burden of caring for her terminally ill daughter, Syd. Her care for her comes in the form of controlling every single thing her daughter is allowed to do. Not to mention Mitsy also struggles with herself, her depressing self, which causes her to be overly dependent to her psychic consultant, Pandora. She questions Pandora about every decision that she has to make. As soon as Hannah arrives at her doorstep, she abandons all her responsibility to her little sister and shuts herself up in her room as her family disintegrates around her and her relationship with both her daughter and husband dwindles.
Syd has her own problems to deal with without having to handle her mother’s emotional burdens and Misty’s constant anxiety attacks. Syd has to keep herself from drowning in the black pool that is her negative thoughts and her disease which she refuses to even think of. Every time she enters the clinic for her constant procedures, she plays the Anesthesia Game where a nurse will ask her a question and she is required to remember the answer to that question when she wakes up from anesthesia. The game is the only thing that serves as an anchor to life and to keep her sane and strong to fight the Taker from taking her light. But the clock is ticking. Just how much time does she have? How long can she hold on before that thread she is hanging on snaps?
Pandora is searching. She has always been searching but not looking. She looks for a way to turn back and alter time but she isn’t ready to really face the past. She’s been averting her face all this time. But she’s interested in and drawn to Sydney and she has an urge in her heart to try save her. But just as for Syd, the grains of sand are also falling for Pandora too. Can she pull herself together and truly face her all of her pasts and find the answer buried along the waves of time? Can she save Syd this time?
Four women, all intricately bound to one another without realization will have to come together for Syd’s sake. But the question is, can they defeat their devils first?
Who run the world? Girls!
At least that’s the feeling I get at the core of The Anesthesia Game. All four ladies who actually plays a part in the progressing of the story struggles with their own troubles: Materialism, a fear of the past, a terror of the unknown future, and the fear of a flickering life. The interesting thing about them is the path each of them takes to really pull themselves up again and to take the first step forward.
Sydney, or Syd has always been the strongest character throughout the whole story although she can easily be the weakest. She has the tenacity to continue living, to not let the disease take hold of her life. Every heartbeat, every second, she remains a warrior till the end, even managing to cope with her mother’s overwhelming depressing state. I really admire her and I’m sooooo glad that she pulled through in the end. Her creation of the Anesthesia Game is really a fun way to go through the procedures which I’m sure is painful. I’ve been under anesthesia before. Although it was for a short time, I felt as though my perception of time was completely wrecked after I woke up; I had no idea what took place when I was out or how long have I been sleeping, although I still recall certain things such as what happened before I went under anesthesia. Like Jonah, as I read about her, I can’t help but think about the many people in the world like her that really needs the strength to pull through. Their struggles and the strength it takes them just to smile ought to be commended.
Although Hannah has shopaholic and alcoholic tendencies, I feel proud of her for gathering herself together to be there for her niece even though money was on her mind at first. But it gets much more deeper after that, accepting the responsibilities left by Mitsy. It’s a good thing that Syd was originally attached to her and Hannah has always adored her niece too. I enjoyed watching her grow as she sheds her glamorous style and starts to help with the horses and writes that award-winning novel
I’m not going to leave Mitsy behind. Mitsy also did a great job calming herself down and begin to really take control of her life. I believe that being at the farm did wonders for her. She got back the part of herself that she left behind in Victoria when she went off and married Aaron. She found herself once again and this time, I don’t think she’ll ever lose sight of her true self anymore. Syd finally got back her mother.
The Anesthesia Game is an exotic mix of the supernatural and reality. At the same time, it feels like a science lesson the way Pandora expresses her mystical findings. So I guess that labeling it as a science fiction would be a little true too? The story was so enticing that I wanted to read the whole book in one sitting and almost succeeded in doing that. At the beginning, the stories of Hannah, Syd, Mitsy and Pandora came in bits and pieces, especially at Pandora’s part But as I read on, the pieces of the puzzles start to come together and make sense but even though I understand the overall structure of it, there are still parts that are vague to me. Especially at the part where Pandora explains how the supernatural and colours work. It all makes sense but at the same time, you can fully grasp the concept of it. I think that’s how it was meant to be: Just within your reach but just as you feel as if you can catch it in your hands, it slips away, like water. But you know what? I like it that way, because that’s how this story feels to me, lingering between fantasy and reality. It helps stretch my imagination.
Many thanks to the author, Rea Nolan Martin for a copy of this wonderful book! I truly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it!