Monday, September 7, 2015

Hello, My Love! by E Journey : A Review

Series: Between Two Worlds
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Sojourner Books; 2nd ed edition (May 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996247416
ISBN-13: 978-0996247412
Beyond broad shoulders and heaving bosoms.
          This thoughtful woman’s romance novel explores the inner life (thoughts, hopes, and doubts) of a couple as they contend with the realities of compelling relationships.
A modern-day pastiche of Jane Austen novels.
          Elise is a bright, beautiful law student, focused on a career and distrustful of men. She butts heads with Greg at her parents’ dinner parties. Dark, good-looking, internet-business owner, he finds Elise intriguing, so unlike the dark-haired seductive beauties he used to escort around.
Specter of revenge.
          Unable to deny their attraction for each other, they spend an unexpected night together two days before he is to wed someone else. Lori, the jilted fiancée, exacts revenge, tearing Greg and Elise apart and forcing them to face who they are and what they really want.
An accident.
          Older and wiser, Greg and Else reunite two years later. He is in for a surprise. Later, their lives are thrown again into disarray when Elise becomes the victim of a hit-and-run. Is Lori back to haunt them again?
          A delicious romance with a literary slant, spiced with a twist of whodunit.
          Love stories that are not ONLY love stories are my perfect genre for entertainment, I learnt. For me to thoroughly enjoy a love story, I need it to be peppered with other elements. Namely, mystery, some thrill, a little dash of suspense here and a small spoon of heartbreak here with a sprig of some emotional drama is my (current) favourite recipe. If it has a happy ending, why complain?
          Elise is a 22 year old law student. Greg is a 32 year old (successful) businessman. They meet each other when Greg is speaking business with Elise’s father, Dr. Halverson. Initially, Elise is wary of Greg’s attitude and is mostly indifferent to him. But she is pleasantly surprised when his gorgeous handsome looks hide a deep, matured intellect. Greg, on the other hand, is irritated by Elise’s lack of reaction to him as it makes him feel old, slow, dim-witted and unwanted. He falls for her at first sight.
          What develops as a friendship slowly becomes a deep seated love. Elise knows Greg is engaged to be married and she unsuccessfully tries to keep a distance. But Greg cannot mask his feelings as easily as her. He expresses it suddenly and one night, they forget their common sense and make love. (This part is not as bland as it sounds. It really is written beautifully. And after all, love does make one lose their rational brain. I am being so direct here because this leads to multiple complications as the story progresses. And, personally, I feel, for a law student Elise was very irrational and for someone who is engaged to be married, Greg was very cowardly and selfish at least at that point in the story).
          The story then takes multiple turns from there. The morning after (dawn, to be precise) Elise moves away from him in regret and Greg, who hasn’t felt that connection he had with Elise ever before in his life, is understandably devastated. He breaks his engagement with Lori and there begins the thrill ride. Lori bays for Greg’s blood. And Elise is knee deep in the mess.
          To further complicate things, Elise finds out about her unexpected pregnancy. Special mention to the author here for sensitively dealing with issues like single parenting and abortion. Elise almost moves away from Greg and continues her life when he is left to face lawsuits, angry exes, and the sorry mess that came due to his past catching up with his present.
          He comes back into Elise’s life two years later and they do come together, only to face yet another accident. Or was it an accident at all? When the story is almost over and you thought everything would be okay, this twist really catches the reader off guard.
          Much has been discussed about the story itself. But the real joy in reading this book is the language. The words have a beautiful, steady pace and don’t seem out of place. Mostly, the characters are very well developed. Each character (even that of Lori) does what they are supposed to do. It is thankfully not centred only on the lead characters.
          The book’s pace is another plus. While it is not racy or something that you can’t put down even for a moment, it does manage to hold your interest consistently that you almost feel bad for putting it down. There are enough twists to keep you occupied. There are a few minuses that I would like to mention though. The book jumps between timelines suddenly and it is a bit disorienting if there is a break in between. And little is written about Greg’s past (before his time with Elise). A small introduction scene that sets the base for Lori’s character or maybe her mysterious absence in Greg’s life when he goes out to dinner every weekend with Elise’s family would be much welcome.
          Overall, this book is the perfect cosy evening read. Start it when you have a few lazy hours in your hand and you will read it in one go – without putting it down. And that is how you can enjoy this book fully.

          EJourney is a realist who thinks she has little imagination. Credit that to her training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and work in mental health, writing for academics and bureaucrats, and critiquing the work of others. She’s been striving ever since to think and write like normal people.
          She’s a well-traveled flâneuse—a female observer-wanderer—who watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment. She doesn’t strive to enlighten. Not deliberately. But the bias of her old profession does carry over into her writing. So, instead of broad shoulders and heaving bosoms, she goes into protagonists' thoughts, emotions, inner conflicts, insecurities, and struggles to reach balance and grow.
PRICE: $12.50 for paperback, $0.99 for Kindle

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such a penetrating, well-written review. .One that goes beyond a like or dislike. You actually made me see this book in a new light. Now, that doesn't often happen.


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