Post Script: What It Was Like – Peter Seth

Limmerence personified – so sad.

What It Was Like

Peter Seth

The Story Plant

Story Plant, The

ISBN: 9781611881905

 

 

Description:

“It’s really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They’re right. I did some extremely foolish things; I’m the first to say it. And they’ve left me in jail and alone.”

 

So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.

 

It is the summer of 1968 and a young man takes a job at a camp in upstate New York before starting his first semester at Columbia University. There, he meets Rachel Prince, a fellow counselor who is as beautiful as she is haunted. Their romance will burn with a passion neither of them has ever known before…a passion with the power to destroy.

 

In the tradition of Endless Love and Gone Girl, What it was Like is an intimate, raw, and revealing journey through the landscape of all-consuming love. It announces the debut of a remarkable storyteller.

 

My View:

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerence) states that limerence is “an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated…”and “an involuntary potentially inspiring state of adoration and attachment to a limerent object involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation..” The protagonist in the novel suffers from limerence – and suffer he does – I think this is one of the most accurate depictions of the affliction that I have come across – the protagonist, un named, is so intensely bound to Rachel Prince and the idea of their romance that nothing else matters; he is psychologically on the edge, unable to function rationally, all his efforts and energy are expended on seeing her and pleasing her, and that has disastrous effects.

 

This narrative has a very quiet considered voice and even pace, yet the first pages hook you with the revelation that the protagonist is already in gaol and is writing the story of his innocence and from then on you read expectantly waiting for the truth to be revealed. Seth provides the reader with an intimate view of the naïve protagonist’s journey into the state of limerence and self-destruction; it is heart breaking reading. Seth is an excellent story teller whose words paint a portrait of pain and love, in this instance the two emotions inseparable.

Post Script: Lyrebird Hill – Anna Romer

Forbidden love, family secrets, murder, mystery… these themes and more  are present and repeated in the dual time frames – brilliant.

Lyrebird Hill

Anna Romer

Simon & Schuster (Australia)

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781922052421

 

Description:

From the bestselling author of Thornwood House

When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?

Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.

Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.

Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.

Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.

A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself.

 

My View:

Ms Romer writes with a beautiful, sweet and seductive voice. This narrative is a multi-faceted story of love, revenge, family secrets and murder that offers the reader two parallel stories that are slowly revealed in alternating chapters. The writing is lush and the settings leap out from the page in three dimensional glory. You can hear the bush come alive, you can see the vibrant colours of the flora and fauna, you will smell the smoke of the camp fires and you too will wonder if you are catching glimpses of movement, shadows moving in the corner of your mind’s eye…this is mesmerising, evocative reading.

Along with ability of being able to create wonderful settings, Ms Romer has gifted the reader two powerful female protagonists, Brenna, who lived in the late 1800’s and Ruby who lives in today’s modern world. You will grow to love these characters and many others including The Wolf (did I mention Ms Romer weaves a thread of fairy tales into her stories – in this one we catch glimpses of Beauty and the Beast or rather a Wolf in this reincarnation of the tale). There is so much to enjoy in this book it begs reading a second time to absorb more of the atmosphere and subtle details.

This is a wonderful mesmerising read on par with her earlier debut novel Thornwood House – another stunning mystery that will engage all your senses with its rich and sumptuous prose.

 

PS

I loved that we just happened to be staying in the area that this book is sited – what a remarkable coincidence.