This book review is part of my monthly buddy read/virtual book club with Brittany’s Pages! This month’s book, The Key of All Unknown, was provided by BookGobbler for free in exchange for an honest review. It is still available to request to read and review for FREE until the end of May!!
Like I mentioned in the introductory post for this month’s book club pick, The Key of All Unknown by Kathryn Hitchens, I was excited to pick up a thriller for the first time in a while. And thrilling this book was! The entire book takes place from the perspective of Tilda Moss, a brilliant scientific researcher who appears to be in a vegetative state, but is actually suffering from locked-in syndrome, as she fights to remember why she landed in the hospital in the first place and figure out how to signal someone that she is, in fact, sentient.
The book takes place almost entirely in Tilda’s head, save the moments when she is able to listen in on the conversations that take place in her hospital. Between those conversations and her fleeting memories, Tilda realizes there is much, much more at stake than just her own life. With incredible and surprising twists and turns, Hitchens manages to weave a story that is suspenseful, enticing, and moving. The reader gets a front row seat to Tilda’s struggles as she fights to survive, fights to be recognized as awake and aware, and fights to remember. As she lays in her hospital bed, piecing together memories and listening to doctors, nurses, and family members discuss her fate, Tilda is left to contend with her life up to that point, faith, and what happens next.
Hitchens does an excellent job of drawing her readers in and keeping them reading. Just when you think the story is slowing down or dragging, another twist or shocking piece of information appears and you have to keep reading. I was deeply moved by this book as a whole, but especially the last third or so. I will often feel emotional at the end of a book, but rarely do I cry real tears, much less sob as I read an ending. The Key of All Unknown brought me tears. I was sobbing by the end, and had to take a second before I could finish reading.
The Key of All Unknown is an incredibly well-written, highly unexpected story. As I read the story, I imagined all sorts of possible outcomes. But the outcome that happened was both completely unexpected and absolutely perfect. I look forward to reading more books by Hitchins in the future.
The Key of All Unknown by Kathryn Hitchins gets 5/5 stars.
As mentioned earlier, a digital copy of this book was provided to me for free by BookGobbler in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, BookGobbler! Free digital copies for reading and review are still available on BookGobbler until May 30th!