Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Review! Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur, 5 Cranky Stars

I was first introduced to Suanne Laqueur's beautiful prose in The Man I Love. It was one of my top reads of 2015. Laqueur writes intelligent, realistic romance. This isn't an exploration, a lifelong journey in a love affair.

TMIL is where we first meet Erik and Daisy and their wonderful group of friends. Told from Erik's point of view, we witness as Erik and Daisy fall in love and events rip them apart.

When I found out I'd be reviewing Here to Stay, I grabbed the sequel, Give Me Your Answer True. It's Daisy's story and for anyone who read TMIL, you will understand my hesitance in doing so. I was incredibly disappointed with Daisy, but I didn't hate her. How could you hate Daisy?

But, she had some ground to reclaim in my heart. Laqueur did this with ease, giving Daisy her own voice and point of view, beyond Erik's gaze. I berated myself for so easily dismissing somebody's suffering because they made a mistake. I willed her to get her happy ever after.

Apart from "one" thing in GMYAT and you know what that is Suanne (cough, *cat*), I adored it from start to finish.

Here to Stay returns us to Erik and Daisy. It picks up where TMIL left off and is told from Erik's point of view.

Erik and Daisy are reunited, but there is still shrapnel from their past. They're adults, no longer young lovers, and they have a lifetime between them. Erik begins the process of making amends and re-establishing himself back in Daisy's life.

His default position of isolation created ripples, not just with Daisy, but with their friends, especially Will and Lucky. Erik, Daisy, Will, and Lucky were their own tribe and it is amazing to see how once a thread is undone, everything can unravel.

Slowly, they rebuild what was lost and then new lessons emerge. Some are linked to Erik's past, the disappearance of his father and the mystery of his familial heritage. Others, center on notions of masculinity and what it means to step into coded roles (lover, husband, father, son, friend) as an adult.
Suanne weaves such a beautiful story about wonderful characters. They feel real. This is more reality than fantasy, and for that, I'm appreciative.

This is a fitting conclusion to Daisy and Erik's stories. I'm hoping Suanne will flesh out something for Will in the future.

If you haven't read The Fish Tales, I highly recommend them. 

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