The reaction I had to this book was much milder than I anticipated.
Perhaps because my expectations were incredibly high. Or perhaps because this book has a mellow charm to it, despite its sharp, lengthy story, a charm that kept me invested because of its laborious heat that never burned hot enough to have me fully engrossed.
The writing is stunning. It reaches into the depths of the craft and winds beauty with each phrase. It paints images and feel with intelligent poise. Schwab’s ten years spent on this book did not go to waste.
I had no desire to fly through the pages. I enjoyed Addie’s story, and appreciated the keen expertise of Schwab’s work. But it was a slow read that never sped up. Maybe it’s not meant to be a pulse-pounding read, but I found myself craving something slightly more.
Saying that, the story is beautiful. The themes heart-wrenching. The ending did not give me joy, only a sorrow for what comes next. Because no matter what, Luc is not a hero. And he is not meant to be. Which means the hope many find when they reach the end of a story is not found at the end of this one.
I respect the steel in Addie. The strength in Henry as he stands, head bent against the many storms. I am intrigued by Luc, though I cringe from him, as again, he is no hero.
This book made me think. Made me remember just how sweetly flavoured a well-written book tastes. And for that alone, I give this read 4 stars.