Saturday, June 20, 2015
RELEASE DAY/BOOK REVIEW: "Give Me Your Answer True" by Suanne Laqueur
“What I feel has no name…”
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.
It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.
Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.
In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.
I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
When I finished reading The Man I Love last year, it was one of those books I had to sit and mull over. There was so much going on, and so much of it was heavy and very prevalent in today's society. That book stuck with me for all this time and is still one of my absolute favorite novels. So when the author contacted me and asked if I'd be one of the first to read her sequel, I jumped at the chance.
Instead of being a sequel, exactly, it is an alternate timeline. Where TMIL followed Erik, Give Me Your Answer True follows Daisy's point of view, letting us see what happened after she and Erik parted ways in the first book.
Did I like this more than TMIL? I can't answer that. It is as if I was reading the same book, but so utterly different and beautiful. Daisy was a character I wasn't sure I liked, because I didn't understand her. This book makes us understand Daisy, why she did what she did and how she felt afterwards. We see her in therapy, trying to build up her career that was almost cut short from a shooting.
This is a story of redemption, understanding, finding one's self, and loving one's self. It is tearful, romantic and delightful. These aren't characters: these are your friends. These are people you know, people you grow to care about.
Sociological and psychological elements enrich this book, make it deeper and more than just a new adult tragedy. The fallout of a school shooting is explored even deeper than in the predecessor, as is recovery from drug addiction and self-pity/doubt. It's not an intellectual book, where you'll need a dictionary to read it, but it feels like one, because these issues are so complex and intertwined.
GMYAT gave me hours of entertainment, and when I get a free moment, it will again when I reread it. I rarely say, "You must read this", because that just sounds like I'm ordering you around. Well, you MUST read this book. Seriously. I'm not joking.
I feel honored to have been able to read this book before its release. It is truly a literary masterpiece.
5/5--I wish I could grade higher.
Add Give Me Your Answer True on Goodreads, where it will give you all purchase links as well.