Review: The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

the man i loveThe Man I Love is an incredible and emotional tale that pulls the reader into the pages and doesn’t let up until the end.

Erik Fiskare, a college freshman, is attracted to the world of theater. However, he prefers being backstage. When he first looks into the eyes of Daisy Bianco, a dancer, he feels something.

She said it with her eyes, he heard it clearly in his head, and it wasn’t hello.

It was, “Well, here you are.”

Here I am, he thought.

The two fall madly in love and it seems that nothing can tear the lovers apart.

Then tragedy strikes. A fellow dancer brings a gun to the theater and opens fire. Six are killed. Daisy is seriously injured. Neither Erik nor Daisy seek professional help to deal with the tragedy. Instead they seek solace from each other. But depression and drug use overtake them. When an act of betrayal destroys their relationship Erik is unable to cope, and he runs away. Will he be able to come to terms with the shooting and the betrayal?

The Man I Love is more than a love story. It’s the story of life. Falling in love is a wonderful thing. Staying in love during all the ups and downs in one’s life is challenging. And Erik’s life involved not only ups and downs, but violence and tragedy.

The author skillfully pulls the reader into Erik’s life, showing the good and the bad. She strips Erik bare, allowing the reader to know almost every nuance to Erik and she does so in a way without being overly sympathetic or dramatic.

This story is an emotional rollercoaster. Laqueur pulls the reader up nice and slow to the highest point of joy and excitement and then whoosh: the bottom falls out. The freefall to the lowest point is terrifying. No one should ever have to endure such violence and pain. But the author isn’t done. Slowly there’s an ascent. The reader can feel the tug of the machinery pulling Erik up, hitching, then dropping, and then rising again to what seems like a safe spot. But is it? Can Erik overcome all the obstacles and be at peace? You have to read to find out. Make sure you have some tissues on hand.

The book is 591 pages and many might fear that it’s too long. But it never feels long, even when Laqueur slows things down and takes the time to build a scene. Her writing is raw, descriptive, and hypnotic. It’s almost like she puts the reader in a trance. It’s not just words on a page, but everything comes alive. The reader can easily see, hear, smell, taste, and feel everything that’s described.

This story will make readers laugh, cry, and cheer. And the story will stick with readers long after they finish. It’s not often that a first time author knocks the cover off the ball, but Suanne Laqueur has with her wonderful novel. Pick up a copy and find out why so many adore The Man I Love.

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