Once again delving into the world of first novels to find the most tantalising debuts, we bring you The Measure by Nikki Erlick – a fascinating and ambitious book that begins with a compelling concept and grows to encompass as many forms of love, hope and fate as you can think of.
When it comes to debut novels, an intriguing premise is a special kind of treat… and The Measure most certainly has one of those.
In these days of next-day delivery and instantaneous commerce, there’s nothing unusual about finding a parcel on your doorstep. It can be a fairly routine thing. Wake up, make some coffee, retrieve your boxes. But there is nothing routine about what happens here. This time, on this particular day, every single person in every country on every continent – whether they live in a grand mansion, a modest apartment or even a tent – receives exactly the same delivery: a small wooden box. Within this box is a message. A message telling you exactly how many years you have left to live.
But where have the boxes come from? Could they possibly contain the truth? And if they do, is there anything you can do to change your fate? Confronted by these and many other questions, global society quickly devolves into mass panic. Everyone must make the same choice: do you wish to know what is within your box? Those who choose to open the box have to figure out what to do with this new knowledge, those who don’t have to figure out how to live without it. One incomprehensible delivery has unmade, or possibly remade, the world. And nobody knows who or what is behind it all.
Through a memorable cast of interweaving characters – best friends, life partners, distant associates, politicians and doctors – The Measure chronicles this emerging new state, exploring the impossible decisions that must be made, the relationships that are threatened by advanced knowledge of death and, ultimately, what it takes to make the most of the time that’s given to us.
In spite of the fear, uncertainty and panic in which it takes root, The Measure wields a positive and powerful message. It’s mysterious, it’s thought-provoking, it’s full of true-to-life insight… and it’s one of the best debuts you’ll read all year. Not to be missed.
About the Author
Nikki Erlick is a travel writer and ghostwriter whose work has appeared in many online publications including New York Magazine, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, The Huffington Post, Indagare Travel, BookTrib, and Vox Media. She has written for leaders in business and academia, and has been taken to many countries across the world on assignment. She has a master’s degree in Global Thought. The Measure is expected to be initially translated into ten different languages.