Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Review: Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

From Goodreads:
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her—and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metalhead little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.
Simply breathtaking.  I don't have enough words in me to rave about how beautiful this story is and how well it's told.  It has multiple narrators, which made me nervous at first.  It's the worst when you just feel like you're getting to know a character and they're pulled away to introduce the perspective of someone new.  In this case, however, my concerns were unfounded.  Despite the use of multiple narrators, the book flows smoothly.  This is the rare case of a book where seeing characters through multiple points of view makes them richer and more nuanced than just seeing a single, first person narration.

Entertainment Value
It's unputdownable.  I read the entire 400 pages over the course of two days because I just had to know what happened.  My first reaction to the story is to wonder why Christian fiction isn't moving in this direction.  I mean, obviously, I know why, because this is definitely not a "Christian" book that would sell in a Christian book store.  It has sex and bad language and doesn't have an explicit "come to Jesus" moral.

Instead, it has an intensely relatable story about losing your faith, finding your faith, and questioning what faith is to begin with.  We have a wide range of characters, from a devout believer to an outright atheist and all are portrayed as sympathetic and flawed.  It's about doubt and struggle and reconciliation and figuring out what your purpose is - all of which make for a beautifully contemplative novel.  On top of being written in beautiful language, this is exactly what I think Christian literature ought to strive for.  In addition, you'll absolutely fall in love with the characters, who are hilarious and precious and written as so believably human you'll find yourself wishing they were real.

I highly, highly recommend reading this book.  It's got something to appeal to everyone, from those looking for laughs to those who want heart-warming relationships to those who are searching for meaning.  Read it with a pile of kleenex because I dare you not to cry at some point.  I'll be immediately passing this on to everyone I know.

Thanks to TLC for providing me with a copy to review.  You can click here to see the rest of the tour stops.

1 comment:

  1. I love books that contemplate faith this way. Especially when those without faith can be written in a believable way.

    Thanks for being on the tour!