This book was Five Amazing Stars!!! It’s hard to believe that it is the debut novel by this author. She has written such a beautiful story that was so emotionally engaging. She has set the bar very high for all of the other novels that I will be reading in 2014!!!
This is a love story between a university professor and a graduate student. The characters are so well developed that you feel all of the emotions right along with them. Malcolm (the professor) is a tortured soul who is very unhappy with his life. His marriage failed, his career seems to be stagnant and he is filled with a lot of self-hatred. He comes off as pompous and extremely anti-social. He has had a life filled with self-doubt and loneliness.
Maren is the graduate student. She has recently moved back to Louisiana to be closer to her family. She is Malcolm’s opposite in that she has a lot of people in her life who love and care for her. He is essentially alone in the world. She is a hard working student who has given up a better graduate program in Colorado to be near her loved ones. She is essentially a bright light to the professor and she seems to lift his mood whenever she is near. She is able to see the good in him that he can’t see in himself.
Their relationship is not an easy one (which makes it even more interesting). He doesn’t feel worthy of the kind of person that she is kind, caring and loving. He doesn’t think that he possesses any of those same qualities. But he is so undeniably drawn to her. He needs her. He wants her. This is what made me feel so drawn to him. He wants to deny himself of her goodness and love and yet he can’t stay away from her.
As with most great love stories, their relationship goes through many hardships. There is so much depth in this book and so much to be felt. It really touches on many levels, such as friendships, family relationships, inner demons, and ultimately love. I cannot adequately express how much I loved this novel. I read it in two sittings and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it. I really did hate to see it come to an end. There wasn’t a cliff-hanger, but I wouldn’t mind reading a sequel to see where their story goes. I will be looking forward to whatever this eloquent author puts out next!