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The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Publication Date 07 07 2022

Your fate arrives in a box on your doorstep. Do you open it?

It seems like just another morning.

You make a cup of tea. Check the news. Open the front door.

On your doorstep is a box.

Inside the box is the exact number of years you have left to live.

The same box appears on every doorstep across the world.

Do you open yours?



Five Star Review

When I first read the premise of The Measure I knew I had to read it. What a unique, thrilling and captivating idea. I had to know what it was all about. And it didn't disappoint.

Right from the beginning. I was obsessed with deciding if I would open my box or not. Would I want to know so that I could plan my last years well - give up work and do as I like - or would it make my last years absolute hell - scared to lose a minute of the time I had left on earth?

What about my children who being adults would have theirs? Could I deal with the agony if they didn't have a long string and would die before me? Or would it be worse to keep the boxes closed? To not have said that last "I love you" and made the best of our time before the day death claimed them.

These decisions and more are all faced by the characters throughout the book. This is what makes it so mesmerising. You are immersed in their journeys because you are seeing yourself in them. Your emotions are fully engaged with their plights. And if at times if they are hesitant, unsure of what to do well you get that too.

Some of those journeys are beautiful but others are heart breaking. Each story bringing a new outlook and view on the crisis the world has found itself in. But of course there are those that use the presence of the boxes for personal gain just as they would when they see any advantage in the modern world. And there are others who show their true morals when faced with something different from themselves.

The writing itself is accomplished and nuanced, the plotting is excellent and unravels gently across the pages. The themes of death and grief are sensitively and beautifully captured. But what makes it magical for me is the connection you feel with each character. The short stringers pain burned within me as if it was my own. However, I was also distressed for the long stringers - what guilt one would feel. An intelligent and thought provoking exploration into what it means to be human and how we measure the substance of life.

As the truth about fate and choice is revealed long held beliefs are dissolved which leads to dramatic changes in friendships, families and communities. But for me the narrative transcends its philosophical themes. The Measure is an ode to love. A gorgeous and enduring love story to life, no matter the length of you and your loved one's string.

I wish I could discuss The Measure more but to do so would give too many spoilers and ruin the book.

Highly Recommended.

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