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Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur Review

September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.

September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.

Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.


An Exaltation of Larks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so thankful that this book was brought to my attention. It is definitely my favorite read of 2016 and the best I've read in a long time (that's saying something because I read a lot). I loved everything about it. I had many smiles and tears along the way. My heart squeezed and soared.
The story follows main characters and the people in their lives for several decades, from childhood to middle age. It's a tale of connected families. Death, love, tragedy, war, hope, lust, friendship, parenthood, PTSD, prejudice, pain, culture, family, loss, happiness, sexuality, marriage...basically every human emotion and state of being are covered. The story is told from several points of view, two being an American refugee from Chile who lost most of his family and a Dominican American who was disowned by his family. The cast is from all walks of life, ages, races, etc. The storyline was completely original for me. It's a novel about living and all the ups and downs and snapshot moments and bigger pictures. Issues don't always tie up neatly or quickly. Just like reality sometimes the tone is heartbreaking, bittersweet, beautiful or magnificent.
I'm still so deep in the feels that I can't get it out of my head. This author truly has a gift. There are a lot of good books out there, but finding something that touches me on this level is a rare unicorn. Bravo!

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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