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Hardcover Irreplaceable Book

ISBN: 1401322824

ISBN13: 9781401322823

Irreplaceable

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

One windy April afternoon, a young woman bicycles alone along a stretch of Iowa highway. She's pedaling hard, hurrying to get home in time for dinner . . . Alex Voormann is a cerebral thirty-year-old archaeologist married to the woman of his dreams--a beautiful, ambitious botanist named Isabel. When Isabel, an organ donor, is killed by a reckless driver, Alex reluctantly consents to donate her heart. Janet Corcoran is a young, headstrong...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

An eye opening read on organ donation

This story is about organ donation told from different viewpoints. The organ donor’s husband and mother’s feelings. The receiver and her family feelings and the one who caused the death. It was an interesting read and I appreciated the bringing of organ donation awareness! What I didn’t appreciate was skanky Kelly, a totally irrelevant character and the lewdness of Bernice and Alex in chapter 30. Just uncalled for in my opinion.

Life-altering, must-read

This is a book that I 'consumed', letting everything else fall by the wayside. The characterizations, details in descriptions of events in the main characters' lives made me by turns weep and laugh. It is a wonderfully inspiriing book that I would recommend for anyone interested in grief, romance, hope, love and joy. This is a book I read and then passed on to a friend, and wouldn't hesitate to give as a gift.

IRREPLACEABLE is a must read

Alex Voormann's young athletic wife, Isabel, is hit and killed by a car. Isabel was an organ donor. Alex and his mother-in-law, Bernice, are barely able to register their conflicted emotions blurred by grief when the medical team comes in to harvest the organs of the person they each loved the most in life. A year has now passed. Alex, who is actually an archeologist, is stuck in more ways than one. At one time he had a job he loved, doing rescue excavation for the state of Iowa. He and his team would travel to the sites of future roads to be sure there was nothing precious present that could be destroyed by the impending construction. Alex had shared his love for science with Isabel, who was a student working for a degree in plant biology. However, a year before Isabel's life was taken, Alex was laid off due to budget cuts. His search for a worthy replacement job had been fruitless. He worked for a while as a waiter, expecting to pick up the job search again. But when Isabel died, he lost all hope and concentration, losing himself in the pages of tabloid magazines and in video arcade games. These days Alex passes time in a job he hates, grading student essays for a company that scores papers for schools across the nation. His boss, Diane, constantly questions his scoring methodology and demands that he reconsider his grades. Alex continues to live in the apartment he and Isabel shared with their dog, Otto. At home, he finds yet another grateful letter in his mailbox from the recipient of Isabel's heart, a woman named Janet Corcoran. Alex feels nothing but bitter hatred toward Janet. He only wishes she would quit trying to express her messages of indebtedness. They only serve to remind him of how much he misses his wife. Isabel's mother, Bernice, does not share Alex's distaste for Janet. Alex and Bernice spend quite a bit of time together, forming something of a little family in their mutual despair over the loss of Isabel. Bernice and Alex have begun renting Japanese monster movies to watch together. Bernice is a cross between a mother figure and a buddy to her son-in-law. She prods Alex to find a more satisfying job and is disappointed in his attitude toward Janet. To Alex's bitter shock, Bernice has actually begun corresponding with Janet's mother. When Bernice passes on to Alex the facts of Janet's life, Alex responds with sarcasm. Bernice shows him a photo of Janet with her family. Alex is conflicted. He is strangely fascinated by the thought that Isabel's heart beats in the chest of this red-haired mother of two. He is also defensive when Bernice tells him that Janet has to take a regimen of medications in order to tolerate her new heart. As if anything could be wrong with Isabel's heart! As Bernice longs to somehow even remotely link her life with that of the woman who lives because Isabel died, Alex fights any suggestion that he should also connect with Janet. Janet tells her story in alternating chapters. She has been liberated from

A powerful and challenging book

Irreplaceable is a gripping and challenging book that I could not put down - I spent my weekend reading it late into the night and first thing in the morning. It is a painful meditation on loss, mourning, and survival, and presents people behaving somewhat poorly in the depths of their suffering and confusion. Lovely writes with a deep sympathy for his characters; he knows them well, cares for them, and so he makes their choices understandable. I felt roughed-up by the book, but it is nonetheless an eloquent story that leaves me interested in becoming an organ donor myself. As the novel comes to a close Lovely gives small gestures enormous weight and significance. I have been left with a lot to think about and highly recommend this book.

every gift has a price

Organ transplants are quite different than other medical procedures, in that, except for the cases of live transplants, possible for some organs, when someone receives a transplant and a new chance for life, someone else has died. What is the cause of celebration for one family, is the result of a terrible tragedy for another. When someone receives a transplant, it is not the happy ending of the story, but just the beginning for all those involved. In Irreplaceable, we are presented with a view into both sides of the experience, those that lost someone they loved, and those that were saved from losing the one they love, someone on the verge of death. Actually, we get a glimpse of a third party as well, the man that caused the death and set it all in motion. The book opens with Isabel, out on the open road in rural Iowa, on her bicycle for the first ride after a long winter. The weather is starting to turn for the worse, getting windy, the sky getting gray, a ominous storm rolling in. A truck crests the hill; she, a little too far into the lane, is unseen by the driver...and for those that love her, a nightmare has begun. For others, a life has been saved from certain death. It is a life saving gift, but a gift with a price, for everyone involved. No, the transplant was in no way the end of the story. This is Mr. Lovely's first book and it is a very good one. His ability to capture the emotions of these different characters is skillful. He is able, on the one hand, to educate the reader about the whole issue of organ transplantation, while on the other hand never losing sight of the very personal repercussions these decisions will have for all involved. As medical science becomes able to do more and more, we can never forget the human and emotional cost...because one day it may be someone we love, or ourselves, asked to pay that price. So just ignore the book cover, which I thought was very misrepresentative, pick up this book and I think you will be happy you did.

a great contemporary novel

Don't let the cover turn you away. Lovely (a childhood friend) spins a compelling and original tale predicated on a heart transplant, but it's his emotional acuity--the way he plumbs the mixed sentiments of the various figures affected by this awful and generous act--that signals the arrival of a great new novelist. His ear for taut, palpable, evocative prose--and, better yet, for complex emotional truths--is evident on every page.
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