Monday, 1 August 2016

I'm Still Here by Clelie Avit

Elsa has been in a coma for five months. With all hope of reviving her gone, her family and doctors are having to face the devastating fact that it might be time to turn off her life support... They don't realise that in the past few weeks Elsa has regained partial consciousness; she knows where she is and can hear everyone talking around her bed, but she has no way of telling them she's there.
Thibault is in the same hospital visiting his brother, a drunk driver responsible for the deaths of two teenage girls. Thibault's emotions are in turmoil and, needing a retreat, he finds his way into Elsa's room. Seeing her lying there so peacefully, he finds it hard to believe she is not just sleeping.
Thibault begins to visit Elsa regularly. As he learns more about her through her family and friends, he begins to realise that he is developing feelings for her. And when he talks to her, he can't help feeling that she can hear his every word...
For Elsa, his visits are like a breath of fresh air. Here is finally someone who speaks to her as if she is a real life person. Who makes her laugh. And who gives her something to fight for...
And so begins a love story that might just save both their lives...

The above synopsis really says it all and I don't want to repeat it all again so I'll just tell you what I thought of it.
I think whoever reads this book will think of coma patients differently in the future. I find it hard to believe that they are practically ignored and doctors speak in front of them.
Elsa has been in a coma for five months but for the past six weeks she can hear everything. She welcomes a new voice when Thibault enters her room and they are immediaty drawn to one another. Alas Elsa can do nothing about it except listen and will her body to move. Thibault is going through a very emotional time having split from his girlfriend and distancing himself from his brother who is only a few rooms along from Elsa. He is finding it hard to come to terms with his brother having killed two teenagers while under the influence of alcohol behind the wheel of his car.
Every time he takes his mother to visit her son he spends time with Elsa, most of it asleep.
Elsa's friends agree with him visiting but Elsa's parents don't know about him yet. I did cringe at a few innapropriate moments when Thibault was visiting Elsa and I don't think her parents would have been happy either.
Once I started this book I had to find out what happened so I couldn't put it down. We can hear Elsa's thoughts and I spent the whole book willing her to move or speak. We have to wait until the last chapter before we find out what the outcome will be.
Clelie Avit is a french author who has written many books. I'm still Here is her first to be translated into English. It was translated by Lucy Foster.
 It can be found  here


  1. This sounds interesting, Anne. I think it's going to go on my wishlist! I like the idea that it was originally in French too. That might give it a different feel!

    1. It was compulsive reading.I would like a follow up too.

    2. It was compulsive reading.I would like a follow up too.


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