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Just Toss The Ashes by Marta Merajver-Kurlat

November 20, 2012

Out of the night that covers me,

Black is the pit from soul to soul,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.[1]

Returning home from a weekend filled with joy, the young man is on top of the world.  He looks forward to seeing the woman who is a stranger to him, the woman who gave him life, the woman whom he does not know, yet legally, she is his mother.

Just Toss The Ashes, a novel by the Argentinian Author, Marta Merajver-Kurlat.

There is an unknown element in Just Toss The Ashes, unknowingly or knowingly structured in it by the author, which throws the completion of a fulfilled weekend into the role of catalyst for what is about to come.  The mundane actions of three people become significant.  Those actions which lull the senses, stymie the awareness, and express themselves through laughter and gaiety would soon end and pitch the young man on a journey to seek out what he did not know––his own mother.

The young man lies in his room, and he thinks. That the woman did not acknowledge his appearance in her territory was nothing new to him. Yet, he was disturbed, and the need to announce his presence, the need to make himself known brought about the revelation that would lame him.  She had finally succeeded.  She had made the decision about her own existence, and a thought hurled itself at him­­––Just Toss The Ashes!

Reading Just Toss The Ashes throws the reader into the existential struggle, which mirrors the question of the reason for our own existence, and Merajver-Kurlat does a beautiful job of   interweaving the essence of ‘who am I?’ throughout the entire book with Lucas’ search to know his mother.

Just Toss The Ashes is a novel, which makes you examines those thoughts in your mind that question your own moral, ethical and philosophical thinking about a topic theologians,  philosophers, psychiatrists, psychologists and many others have examined since the beginning of time–––the topic of death, the last door to …………..What?

Thus, the intensity of the shock personified within the soul of Lucas, at the beginning of the book, is an excellent teaser, which draws you into Merajver-Kurlat’s story. The writer, herself, takes the role of the devil’s advocate, and she goes to court as she displays the turmoil and torture of a woman, who was unable to cope with the fact she had no notion of why she existed.

However, it is the son, whom she leaves behind, whose soul takes a beating, and he is caught by surprise at his first confrontation with a lifeless corpse, that had dared to make a decision, which would affect not only its own life, but also the lives of others. Appalled at what had happened he sat first and thought before he called his father.

  • What is out there besides me? 
  • Who determines my destiny?
 In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.[2]

The title itself symbolizes the disrespect one of the protagonists has for its body––No big thing, Just Toss The Ashes.

There is nothing more to life, no reason to live, nor reason to die, Just Toss the Ashes.

The French Philosopher and Author, Albert Camus, once wrote, “I see people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (What is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is one of the most urgent questions.”[3]

There are two protagonists being herald in Merajver-Kurlat’s Book, Sylvia and Lucas.  Both have their struggle with  one single antagonist. Both come in direct confrontation with the invisible realm of the supernatural, but only one manages to escape the pull of falling into a black hole of nothingness and despair, where living becomes torture that is unbearable.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade

,And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.



It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.[4]

Just Toss The Ashes, a book, which quickly draws you into the journey of a young man searching for the identity of a woman whom he never knew, and thereby finding his own, and the ending of the journey of a woman who struggle to find it, but never did––Just Toss The Ashes.

An outstanding literary achievement, Ms. Marta Merajver-Kurlat. Just Toss The Ashes has proven that you are  a master at storytelling. Congratulations on a job well-done.

Just Toss The Ashes  can be ordered at and all of their international sites.   It is indeed an excellent read!






Pat Garcia

From → Books

  1. laurie27wsmith permalink

    Great review Patricia.


    • My Dear Brother,
      Thank you. It is a very deep and intense book. The book challenges our own beliefs and the way we handle things. It is an excellent read.



  2. Pat, I’m elated at the way you have interpreted “Just Toss the Ashes”. Your in-depth analysis is something every writer seeks and rarely finds. You are not only a great writer but an incredible reviewer, and the pieces of poetry you so aptly conjugated with the book enhance it powerfully.
    Thank you for devoting so much time and care to my first novel that will turn thirteen years old next year, ready for its bar mitzva !


    • My Dear Marta,
      It was a pleasure reading your Just Toss The Ashes. The way it was written caused a reaction in me that challenged me to examine myself and my own beliefs. Even though my conclusion for my own choice of life became even stronger, the recognition of the strength came from reading your book, Just Toss The Ashes.
      One of my beliefs is that books should be written with a purpose in mind, regardless of what genre they are in and I think that many of us writers have forgotten that. “The purpose of writing is not a choice that you choose,” as one of my favourite authors has said, “writing chooses you.”
      I believe you know that author well.


  3. I also thought that this was a stunning review Patricia, beautifully written from your heart, poetic – and the two protagonists’ ultimate outcomes surely makes for a gripping read! And Marta, mazeltov for the upcoming barmitzvah!


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