Meet Me at the River by Nina de Gramont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
… That no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t love any of them completely ~ or hate them for that matter, because they all just were. She’s sad and going on ~ or struggling to, while he’s after-Luke, unable to move on.
… How the story isn’t just theirs, but touches on other lives as well. In particular there’s that almost mirroring in who her mother was to who his father, made more by those admissions of Romeo/Juliet and vice.
Mirroring but in the opposite because where the younger are meant, there’s a measure of forcing one thing where it isn’t normally for their parents. And that’s what’s screwed up. It’s their own love story that should have been heart breaking, but it's also the same that's left me aware that not one of them is perfect. With the realizations on who another really is and then moving on from there, MEET ME AT THE RIVER is clearly more than just a girl struggling at being alive.
… That there’s all these thoughts voiced out on suicide and one’s place and commitments made; and then there’s all these other (not-foreign-at-all) notions on belonging and loving and devotion but there’s their inverse, as well, of being stifled, needing (wanting) to be free, or freer as the case applied.
It’s to the last that a selfishness seeps through; it’s a selfishness that’s much appreciated. Early moments are all done on tip-toe; but things progress and the ”real” comes out. What’s better is what’s real isn’t always what you’d want. Again, there’s that selfishness. Again, there’s that want. And again, there’s that need. It’s all very true but never easy to witness.
…But the thing is it's not always the negative truth that’s revealed; there’s the easier newer things, as well (because to term it as “positive” feels like a stretch) entry of HJ and Evie and the re-emergence of the mother she knew.
It’s HJ that I’m loving the most though… him and his advice of “just the next day” and “just a little bit.” So wrong… but somehow right (in a way.) There’s a shared thing between them… and based on that a growing connection. It’s the newness of who he could be and her having to decide on what that was. It all rang of possibilities that she’s slow to open her eyes to. And darn it, but slow moments always feel right to me.
… That this is a multifaceted sort of haunting. In fact it’s more than being haunted. Sure, there’s the more literal one after-Luke, but there’s the deeper type of wanting to turn back time to do one thing or another thing or a host of others differently. And then there’s the way that they all put their truth forth; they all do so in ways I dare not would have but likely thought anyway. So, it’s not linear story: at least for Luke, things go from a past without her, to one with her, then shifts to the present with him on the sidelines. But for her, it’s all that coupled with the uncertainty of what’s to come as well as that ever present feeling of guilt over so many things.
So, while I can’t say I love them, I did love this story.
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