Seventeen year old Ivan Isaenko is a life long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely III Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. She is exquisite. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: Ivan wants Polina to live.
The Fault In Our Stars meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in this hilarious, heart wrenching, and powerful debut novel about an orphaned boy who finds love and hope in a Russian hospital.
''Impressive...Stambach's surprising, empathetic novel takes on heavy themes of illness, suffering, religion, patience, and purpose, with a balanced mix of humour and heart.' Publishers Weekly. 'An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut.1 - Kirkus (starred review).
Scott Stambach lives in SanDiego, where he teaches physics and astronomy. He also collaborates with Science for Monks, a group of educators and monastics working to establish science programs in Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries throughout India. He has written about his experiences working with the monks of Sera Je College monastery and has published short fiction in several literary journals, including Eclectica, Stirring, and Convergence.