Sunday, 26 July 2020

#BlogTour The Love Virus by Eleni Cay


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Love Virus by Eleni Cay. For bonus features go to Eleni-cay.com it contains links to poems, videos and music that accompany her debut novel “The Love Virus”.

The e-book can be downloaded for free from all major retailers.  If you can afford to donate, please consider donating to Overcoming MS , or a charity of your choice. 

About the Author
Eleni Cay is a Slovakian-born poet living in Norway. Her award-winning first collection was published by Parthian Books and her second poetry collection ‘Love Algorithm’ is forthcoming by Eyewear Press. Eleni’s debut novel ‘The Love Virus’ was published in spring 2020.
When Katie finds out that her increasingly unresponsive legs and extreme fatigue is due to Multiple Sclerosis, she rides an emotional rollercoaster – anger, denial and fear – when faced with a wheelchair-bound existence. She puts her studies at Oxford on hold, and she splits up from her fiancĂ©, Mark, even though she still loves him.

While undergoing treatment, Katie is diagnosed with MS2 – a virus that paralyses the mind. In hospital, Katie has to cope with her irritating bedfellows who argue constantly, and where she is treated by Dr Andrews, a handsome psychologist. The closer she gets to him however, the worse her pain becomes. Compounding Katie’s struggle is Mark, who returns to her bedside day after day. Once Katie begins Dr Andrews’ new experimental MS2 treatment, Mark can’t recognise her anymore. He begins to wonder if Katie will ever be cured.

Review
Although this kind of sails under the YA genre category I think this is a read that readers both young and old will be able to relate to. The subject matter doesn't change much in relation to age.

It's a powerful piece of writing. Provocative, excruciatingly detailed when it comes to moments full of embarrassment. Moments everyone else takes for granted. How Katie is betrayed by her body, which culminates in fear, rejection, and a feeling of having no control. Feeling full of doubt, because loved ones act out of pity. 'I felt more loved by her when I was miserable and in pain' - little shots like that between the mundane moments are what make this an emotionally charged response. Sway, sway - wham upside the head. Softly, softly - screams of pain.

I don't think the blurb does the content enough justice. It's far from just a story about a young woman who becomes a prisoner to a disease. It's far more than that. I wonder what a theatrical stage interpretation of this piece would look like.

This is an interesting one. It's a story written entirely in lyrical prose. It might not be everyone's cup of tea when it comes to style. You tend to get readers who want a story or want to read poetry.
I have to say I liked it, perhaps because it has a Shakespearean sonnet vibe, but more because Cay brings a compelling narrative to the table.

It's honest and doesn't pull any punches, especially when it comes to pain, pain management and having a sexual relationship with the physical and psychological limitations of an autoimmune disease. It's a speculative exploration of voice and words.

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