“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”- Pablo Neruda
What better person to quote than Neruda? Love can be brutal, disastrous, dangerous, shocking, slow.. yes, you all get the point, but love can also contain a seed of destiny. Why do people come together as they do, even if it means betrayal? Why do we fall for people, especially those ‘forbidden’ and why do we still feel driven to cross so many lines? These are age old questions that we will likely never answer. James Hernandez is an author who is blocked, he falls into a passion filled stupor for Louisa “Lou” Bell, the perfect woman for him who just happens to be his dear childhood friend Rob’s beloved. It’s not lost on the reader that such a tangle would make for a wonderful story for Hernandez to write, instead he lives it. Lou marries Rob and when complications arise in their relationship James may finally have a chance to explore his feelings. But it’s never that simple, there will be shame, guilt, hunger and regrets. But it’s not at all what you think, it’s really not the story formula we have all seen before.
Camille Pagán finds a way to tie James and Louisa together beyond their conflicting emotions and struggles. These are messy folks, and it goes beyond the love difficulties. Family here is beautiful and painful and I cannot write about what happens without spoiling the story. Sometimes we hurt the ones we love, our hearts and desires are greedy, we cling to an ideal about those we love and about ourselves that causes so much blindness. We are all in our own way to some degree, but regardless of our plans fate rings us out and hangs us out to dry where it will. The love in this story that hit me most is not the romantic bits, not at all. Were the characters all confused, directionless, depressed- sure. But it’s where the end led me that made the novel lovely, and I am not one for weepy stories that can become movies on the channels we women deny watching. Oh how I wish I could reveal more. Yes, read it!
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Lake Union Publishing