When Margot and Henry meet, they fall deeply in love.
And then they lose each other.
But Henry can’t forget Margot and Margot is haunted by her memories of Henry. They live in each other’s minds.
Twenty-one years later, they meet, by chance, on a Manhattan street. And that’s where their story truly begins…
The cover for this really caught my eye as I’m drawn to most things New York after a visit two years ago. Consequently when the publishers Corvus offered me this to review I jumped at it. I’ve not read anything by this author before so had no idea what I was getting beyond a love story.
This was a book that slowly drew you in, telling the story of Margot and Henry. Theirs was a Romeo and Juliet love story with everything going against it. When they first meet as students in 1991 it is the archetypal mismatch of small town Jewish boy versus WASP frat girl. Yet Henry’s quiet, thoughtful poetic persona seems to be the balm that Margot needs and they fall headlong and infatuatedly in love. But life steps painfully in and separates them for 21 years until a chance meeting re-ignites the flame. The question is, is it too late?
The story is told in alternating time frames between 1991 and 2012 with Margot and Henry offering their perspective of the events. This worked well, it was easy to follow and was an interesting way of bringing their individual characters and backgrounds to the fore.
I loved, this book, it was gentle thoughtful and poetic (just like Henry). The language was beautiful and emotive and it worked for me. This was a love story on so many levels. It was a love story about the past and the people they were as well as a love story about the present and the people they could be again. It was as if Margot and Henry had been merely going through the motions for 20 years, not really living and loving but surviving, but until they meet again they haven’t fully understood this. For me it was also a love story about New York as you walked it’s streets and parks and it features my beloved Flatiron building so that also swayed it for me.
I have seen the book described as cliched and boring, but I prefer to describe it as relatable and quietly powerful and look forward to reading more by this author.