“Like it or not, she made you the man you are. And you never got over her. You just left.”
The man is Erik “Fish” Fiskare, a student of technical theatre at a Philadelphia university. At twenty-two, he is the lover and soul mate of Daisy Bianco, a beautiful and talented ballerina. His best friend is William Kaeger, Daisy’s charismatic, free-spirited partner.
While deeply in love with Daisy and astonished by their physical passion, Erik is fascinated by Will’s bisexuality. But when Will embarks on a disastrous affair with a dancer named James Dow, it pushes Erik’s tolerance and trust to the limit. Rejection soon pushes James over the edge of sanity, taking Will and Daisy with him and leaving Erik in the ruins.
The young stagehand soon discovers that in the face of heartache, grief and betrayal, love is not always enough to make you stay. And sometimes, it’s the only thing that can bring you back.
Spanning fifteen years and following a man’s thrilling emotional journey back to the truth of himself, Laqueur’s debut novel explores the complexities of sexual passion, the dark side of devotion and the futility of running from one’s past. The Man I Love is an epic tale of love and forgiveness that will linger long after the last page is turned.
“A hush fell over them. For a long moment, while she was leaning her chin on her hand atop the piano lid, and his hands rested lightly on the keys, they stared at each other. The stage, the wings, the maw of the theater and its rows of seats and ornamental moldings, all receded. The air about them shimmered, drew in, coalesced into a bubble. They looked at each other, breathing together, long past a socially acceptable interval. It was far beyond the border where Erik normally would have dropped his gaze, cracked a joke or at least a smile.
She’s peaceful, he thought, and her eyes widened slightly, as if she had heard him.”
God.. The Man I Love was just gorgeous. I cannot speak highly enough of the writing in particular. Suanne described things in such a way that the words leapt off the page and into my imagination – i could see everything so clearly. For an example just look at the quote above. Beautiful.
The Man I Love was unlike anything i’ve read before. Whilst i went into it thinking it would be part of the bad run of books i’ve been reading lately, it definitely surpassed my expectations. While the book is slow to start, i can’t even remember at which part, but all of sudden it drags you in and i couldn’t put it down.
The book is from Erik Fiskare’s perspective and is all in all a love story, albeit a fractured love. Erik is a stage and lighting hand at college and works in the theatre in which the ballet dancers practice and put on shows. Here he meets Daisy and from the moment they meet he is electrified by her presence. At first it is a lusty thing he feels but then the more he speaks to her the more he falls deep. Now i must say i am adverse to the whole insta love thing, but something about Erik and Daisy’s coupling felt natural and i felt they were made to be together as if they were two halves made whole by each other’s company.
The whole first part is sweet and builds up the relationship that these characters have but also the relationships they have with numerous others. Will, Lucky, Kees, David, Opie etc all felt like friends and were the perfect offset to Daisy & Erik’s relationship.
Until a traumatic experience happens and blows everything apart this book had a very different tone, then for me it was almost like another book. The post traumatic stress of it all and the emotions felt by the characters were so strong and from here the book spans over ten years.
I won’t spoil anything from there but it is a must read for me. I really felt it. The only problems i had really with the novel was a certain part involving ‘marking”, but each to their own! That and the fact that the ending was so abrupt – i almost felt cheated after investing so much time in the story.
All that being said, brilliant writing and brilliant story. *****