Oh my, where to start with this amazing story? Woods throws the reader immediately into a coastal town, Allora, where the fish jump right out of the sea, which is struck by the plague. As people drop like flies, the coffin maker sees to their needs until so many people begin dying at once, they just release their bodies into the sea. Death does not make allowances for those who care for the dead, and Alberto, the coffin maker, loses his entire family.
For thirty years, Alberto sits in his house by the cemetery and makes coffins. Alone.
A young boy, Tito, and his mother arrive in Allora by train, hoping that her abusive husband will not find them this time. Her dreams of never going hungry, never being afraid, and just raising Tito in peace and hiding are crushed one year after arriving when she dies. No one knows Tito exists except his pet bird, Fia.
Driven closer to town by hunger, Tito and Alberto strike a friendship that breaks down both walls, and as Tito learns to trust, Alberto remembers how to love. The question is, how far are both willing to go to keep what they no longer want to lose?
The imagery and emotion that Woods puts into the characters is fantastic. The only problem with this book is that I want to keep reading. I want to know more about the future of Tito and Alberto.