Book Review: The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

About the Book:

index

As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives–a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes.

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22515690-the-man-i-love

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-1hYK86Lzs

My Thoughts:

This first novel by Suanne Laqueur is a work of sheer brilliance. The book is so well written that it will keep the reader hooked until the very end.

This book explores the emotional psych of people who are in university and following certain events the author explores how trauma affects people, how they cope with it and how friendships and relationships fare in the midst of all this.

The story is written with powerful descriptions that makes it easy for the reader to visualize each situation. The power behind the way the author has described each emotion will draw the reader into the world of intrigue, theatre, friendship, betrayal and trauma.

The author touches upon how the world of theatre works with both the on stage crew and off stage. Dancers and directors on the one hand and then comes those who are involved in the lighting and props. The vivid descriptions of the world of theatre and dance bring out the author’s passion for the same.

Erik is a strongly developed character, affected by his father’s leaving their family in ways he didn’t even realize. He later behaves in certain ways and takes certain decisions that affect his life and the ones he loves in ways he doesn’t expect. Erik falls in love with Daisy and their love is one built in trust and understanding. The author explores how their relationship grows and later how it faces trials after the shooting and finally touches on the necessity of communication. There are so many elements to this that it will definitely affect the reader emotionally. The lives of those around the two central characters are intricately woven into the story and these people provide wonderful support to the plot.

Moreover, through the story, the author shows that it is necessary to seek help after facing any kind of trauma and the support of the ones we love. It is difficult to move on from something unless you confront it and deal with it. Bottling it up and burying something will never solve anything. Erik Fiskare learnt this the hard way.

I strongly recommend this book for everyone as it is important to understand the message that can be drawn out of this story. We learn that all our decisions have consequences and that the paths and decisions we take shape who we are and our actions in the future.

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