About the Book:
Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.
It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.
But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.
From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?
As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?
The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.
“The measure of your life lies within.”
There’s been lots of buzz about this book, which has a fascinating premise! Everyone across the globe suddenly receives a box on their 22nd birthday, containing either a short or long string. No one knows the origins of the boxes. Are they divine? Something other-worldly?
Some choose not to open their boxes, as the length of the string actually does determine lifespan. I thought that this book raised more questions than it answered, and I found some of the characters less interesting than others. Overall though, I enjoyed the themes of the story, which I found to be very poignant and ultimately, uplifting.
“A meaningful life at any length.”
Narration by Julia Whelan was, as always, stellar. I wondered while listening, what about people living in the teeming slums of South America or Mumbai? Or those living in remote, inaccessible jungles? Did they also receive boxes? The book focuses on a rather homogenous group in my opinion, although I warmed to them all by the book’s end.