Monday, November 28, 2016
BOOK REVIEW: "An Exaltation of Larks" by Suanne Laqueur
"We're so alike, you and I. It's no wonder we kept finding each other."
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I've been reading Mrs. Laqueur's books since her first release, and may I say it is a privilege to be one of her ARC reviewers. Her stories are not simply love tales or fluff novels. They're meaningful, filled with introspection, love, humanity, and life. They burst from the page into your mind and Exaltation is no different from the predecessors.
It's not easy to review this book, as giving spoilers is a no-no for me, but yet I still need to convey the beauty and warmth in this story borne of tragedy.
This storyline spans over 20 years, between two horrible acts of war, which alone makes the characters relatable. We don't have the typical lead characters here, either, with Latinos being two of the three main ones.
The story is emotional and dark, but light as well, if that makes any sense. Some of the topics touched on were risky for any author, but Laqueur writes them beautifully and effortlessly. Her writing is not lyrical, it is pure power. You feel the emotion of every word.
Jav is my favorite character, I thought that he was so real, so 3D, he could leap from the page. Alex also gained my sympathy and love as the story went on.
While the book does do some flip-flopping with POV and timelines, it should not hinder your reading experience.
Laqueur will, decades from now, be considered one of the greats right up there with the Bronte sisters and Austen.
5/5--Amazing and touching.
Purchase An Exaltation of Larks via Amazon.