I was provided with an ARC of Suanne Laqueur’s upcoming book in the Fish Tales series. Read on to know my take on the book. The book will be available on Amazon on July 7th.
Please note that the review may contain some spoilers, but for those who have already read the book, there aren’t too many surprises.
About the Book:
Plenty of fish in the sea. But none like the ones that got away.
Author Suanne Laqueur gives her readers an intimate, guided tour of the award-winning novel, The Man I Love. From the embryonic chapters written over twenty years ago to scenes cut from the final draft, you’ll witness the crafting of an emotional journey and the evolution of the beloved characters within The Fish Tales.
Includes never-before-seen material and an excerpt from Laqueur’s next novel, An Exaltation of Larks.
Suanne Laqueur is back with yet another book and this time it is not a story per se, but an insight into the making of one of the stories we have read and loved, The Fish Tales. It is the story of the journey, the behind the scenes, the creation of Erik and all the other people whom we love and mourn. In a simple and slightly humorous manner, Suanne has shared excerpts from her early writing interspersed with quirky thoughts/comments that she has added now, almost 20 years after she first penned those words.
The story behind the story, this gives us an insight into how the characters were born, how they developed and became the people we came to meet and know so well. As Suanne mentioned at the beginning. This is definitely along the lines of fan fiction and some may even point out that it is inclined towards obsession. However, those who have read TMIL, will completely understand this as they, like me, have taken this journey with Erik and Daisy, not just at a superficial level, but also at the emotional level. The stories will strike your emotional chord and through this book, Suanne keeps the thoughts, emotions and memories alive.
This book brings a sense of nostalgia with it as well as a sense of belonging. It is interesting to see how Suanne first pictured Erik and Daisy and how they grew from there to become who they are now. Somehow, it is clear that some of the basic ideas of the plot never changed. We are also introduced to some people she created, but they never made an appearance in the final story. It is wonderful to meet them however, and knowing how Suanne pictured them fitting into the lives of the characters we know sheds a great deal of light into her way of thinking and her style of writing. The glimpses she provides into some of her written material show us how raw and real her writing is. The style never changes and the emotions are there, no matter what she writes about.
Suanne provides insights into two of the most wonderful people of these stories, Will Kreager and Lucia Dare. She brings us parts of the story from their perspective, mainly from Will’s and shows us how the various events that occur affect them. She clearly brings out Will’s interest in Lucky, Daisy and Erik, his relationship with James and his feelings throughout the story. Seeing everything from his perspective, will bring the reader closer to him than before. As endearing as he was previously, this insight gives new meaning to his existence.
Reading this book feels as though we are sitting with an old friend and taking a stroll down memory lane.
Suanne also expands on how the trauma of the shooting affected not just Daisy and Erik, which we have already seen in TMIL and GMYAT, but also Will and Lucky. She expands on what they feel, how they react, how their relationship develops, breaks and then returns, stronger than ever. She also brings out how Will’s actions eventually lead to the shooting and all events that led to it and that happened after. Even though it cannot be said that everything that happened is his fault, he was a part of what set everything in motion. One decision changes all.
This book only adds to the beauty of the story Suanne has crafted and will make the reader love it more. It will no doubt leave the reader with a heavy heart, but it was worth it. The characters and chapters that were created and written but got left behind or removed from the story are well worth the effort of writing them. Sometimes, as Suanne has mentioned, it’s better to just write what you think and then see the usage later on. The bonus insight into Erik’s younger days when his father was still there and after he leaves are wonderful and I hope Suanne uses this in a story sometime in the future.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to summarize my thoughts about this book in a nutshell, and given a chance, I will keep talking about it. This is the first time I have written so much about a book and it has made me experience emotions so deeply that it is slightly difficult to come back to reality. However, I will say this, everyone should, at some point, read The Man I Love and enjoy this story and world as much as I have.
Finally, Suanne gives us a glimpse of her upcoming novel, An Exaltation of Larks which is definitely much awaited for by fans of her books.