When Katie finds out that her increasingly unresponsive legs and extreme fatigue is due to Multiple Sclerosis, she rides an emotional rollercoaster – anger, denial and fear – when faced with a wheelchair-bound existence. She puts her studies at Oxford on hold, and she splits up from her fiancé, Mark, even though she still loves him. While undergoing treatment, Katie is diagnosed with MS2 – a virus that paralyses the mind. In hospital, Katie has to cope with her irritating bedfellows who argue constantly, and where she is treated by Dr Andrews, a handsome psychologist. The closer she gets to him however, the worse her pain becomes. Compounding Katie’s struggle is Mark, who returns to her bedside day after day. Once Katie begins Dr Andrews’ new experimental MS2 treatment, Mark can’t recognise her anymore. He begins to wonder if Katie will ever be cured.
Strong language, depression, self-harm, and attempted suicide
Frank portrayal of a life-changing health condition
The Love Virus is written in prose, and it does take a minute to get used to. It starts right in the thick of things, stick with it to watch the story unfold. Our three main characters seem like they are completely at odds with each other, but they’re more alike than they think. Rosemary drove me nuts, and I think she was written purposefully so. She represented those against big pharma, and even though I didn’t agree with it, I liked the representation. I was waiting for her to mention colloidal silver and was incredibly relieved when she didn’t.
Paul likes the technological advances that have happened in society, which is the complete opposite of Rosemary. He’s proud of what Cay has written of The Smooth Revolution, which advanced society for the better in Paul’s eyes. He’s incredibly lost without his phone.
Last but not least, our main character, Katie. She’s newly diagnosed with MS and a spinoff disease invented in the author’s mind, MS2. We weave through time to Katie’s life before this diagnosis and after, but the bulk is during her time on Andratalia, which mentally sends her to another world. Before she started treatment, she wasn’t ready to accept the MS. This med makes her withdraw, and her inability to speak of speaks of how ill she’s coping with this disease. Throughout it all, her love of her fiance, Mark, shines through. Even when she’s trying her hardest to push him away.
Being disabled myself, I chose to read this because I can relate to your body failing you when your mind has other plans. But the constant bickering was distracting, and it took up too much space. This wasn’t exactly the book for me, but I think it could be the right book for others.
The Love Virus is available on Amazon for free.
About the Author
Eleni Cay is a Slovakian-born poet living in England and Norway. She is known for her multimedia poetry which has been screened at international festivals and featured on Button Poetry. Her award-winning first collection was published in Slovak, English and German. The Love Virus is Eleni’s debut novel.
Author website: http://www.eleni-cay.com/