Author: Suanne Laqueur
Length: 491 Pages
Release Date: June 20, 2015
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.
Apologies… if you hate spoilers you might not want to read this. I don’t know if I can help myself in not spoiling it because I’m still emotional about the book. Now that I got that out of the way… here I go…
First of all, I want to give the author my applause. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a retelling of a story the way I did with GMYT. I already know what happened base on Erik. I know what’s waiting for me at the end. Still, felt like I was ‘knowing’ the story for the first time. It didn’t feel like I was reading a retelling of a story in a different point of view. I guess it’s the way it was told. Like Erik, I felt I was in a journey with Daisy.
You know, I feel like I haven’t been this emotional about a book in ages. I actually cried. In fact, I cried a lot. When I read Erik, I told myself I would have probably reacted the way he did with with what Daisy did to him. Reading Daisy, I was hoping Erik reacted differently. Hearing everything from her made the pain deeper. And I almost hated Erik for being so cold, distant and hard on Daisy. I’ve read about why he did it but still, reading Daisy, I wished he didn’t. You know those phone calls? I know from Erik that he never bothered to answer. But as I read Daisy relive those phone calls she made, I could hear the voice inside my head saying, “come on, pick up the stupid phone”. And it crushed me the way it crushed Daisy every time he didn’t.
As Daisy went to therapy I felt like I was in the journey of healing along with her. It almost felt like I was among those people who was part of the Lancaster shootout and I needed to heal too. Every time the therapist asked her a question, I would mull it over my head and try to answer it too. I was really emotionally invested into the story. And for Suanne to pull that off, hands down. I’ve read tons of books but very few have been able to do that to me. In fact, my tears are starting to flow again just trying to remember what I just finished reading and writing this review.
Then came John. You know, I hate his character when I first read him in Erik’s. But in this book I seriously loved him. I was like, come on Daisy let’s just forget Erik. John is here. He’s better. And he will treat you better. Yet I also felt the barrier Daisy felt when she couldn’t talk about Erik with him. Yet I hoped. Even if I know already it’s not happening.
The letter to Lucky containing all of Daisy’s feelings, that was were I first shed a tear. There were more people that came along the way but seeing Lucky and Will in the scenes were a relief. Like someone is telling me, it’s okay. You’re not alone. You have friends.
I told in my review of “The Man I Love” that reading Erik’s story made opened feelings I thought I have buried a long time ago. Reading Daisy made me understand why did they happened. Why I buried those memories and why it opened. With Daisy, I learned an important lesson. Some things are meant to be forgiven. I still don’t agree with it but this time I do understand it well. And I can say that I also healed along with her.
I cried again when I got to the happy ending part. But this time around it was because I was happy as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy for book people reaching their happy endings.
And before I totally forgot the real purpose of reviews, it didn’t escape me that the questions I had from book one got answered. And it was given an answer true.
If you haven’t read this or book one, please do. It’s an emotionally captivating novel. A very well-crafted intelligent romance. It was an amazing journey. Not easy but still an amazing one. Kudos to Suanne Laqueur for writing this novel.
here’s a few favorite quote that I can’t resist sharing:
“I changed one word and changed my life. But is a restriction. But is either-or. And means you can do both things at the same time. I can give back the physical things that belongs to you and keep the things I feel about you.”
“I’m sorry, I will always be sorry. I love you, I will always love you. And I’m forgiving myself.”