Saturday, August 26, 2017

Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

[I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Diversity/Historical Fiction/General
Features: Chinese heritage, romance, older couples 

This book pleasantly surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the perfect mix of historical events, cultural diversity, sorrow and joy, solid writing, and a touching love story made this book a winner. The characters were well-developed; I really connected with them and rooted for them. I wanted to know that they had happy endings, that the dark times created something beautiful. The plot was well-paced too, and I found myself easily devouring the pages. I loved that the story affirmed that all things happen for a reason, that people and loving others are what matters most, and that good things can come out of bad situations and rock-bottom circumstances.

There were some great quotes too:

"We all have things we don't talk about . . . Even though more often than not, those are the things that make us who we are."

"There are people in our lives whom we love, and lose, and forever long for. They orbit our lives like Halley's Comet, crossing into our universe only once, or if we're lucky, twice in a lifetime. And when they do, they affect our gravity."

"My theory . . . is that the best, worse, happiest, saddest, scariest, and most memorable moments are all connected. Those are the important times, good and bad. The rest is just filler."

The book didn't earn a 5-star in my opinion because some of the situations seemed a little extreme or not realistic, as if the author forced the plot unnaturally to evoke an emotional response. I also felt like the ending was wrapped up a little too neatly and wasn't too realistic.

Overall, this novel wasn't easy to read (some of the content is mature and tragic), but I was glad I read it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a touching story with a multicultural and historical slant.

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