By: Suanne Laqueur
Publisher: Cathedral Rock Press
Publication Date: June 2014
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: February 17, 2015
Suanne Laqueur delivers a 579-page, can’t put down, don’t want to put down, sparks flying from fingertips with the turn of each page, delicious body of work in her debut novel, The Man I Love.
Erik Fiskare (‘Fish’) was a guarded boy. He had every reason to be; especially after his dad went out one night never to return home again. Did I mention Fish was five at the time? That alone could have been the defining moment for Fish to make the decision to never amount to much. The thing is, however, his mother was still there. Perhaps it was her kind and creative soul that nurtured Fish into young adulthood without too many ‘isms.’ Little did he know that Daisy Bianco was waiting in his future. Side-by-side, they would weather life’s lessons and perhaps what wouldn’t nearly kill them, could possibly make them stronger.
Fish didn’t have big college dreams. Rather, he flew just enough under the radar to keep moving forward. It is when his grandfather dies in his junior year of high school and leaves him and his brother a windfall of money, in the fall of 1989, that Fish finds himself stepping onto the campus of Lancaster University. The stars were aligned in near perfect order and he was in pursuit of a technical theater minor in the University’s conservatory program… and along comes the lithe and mystical beauty with the perfect dancer’s body: Daisy Bianco.
I believe the very essence of a blockbuster story happens before the author has put pen to paper. The premise percolates as a memory and its calling haunts the subconscious. When the plot finally rises above the subconscious, so has the time come to write and a gifted writer knows the moment. This is who Ms. Laqueur is; a truly gifted writer connected to the words she writes. Laqueur has a precise and specific command with her word placement. Her fluid development of character Erik (Fish) Fiskare convincingly beckons the reader to latch on and a natural familiarity takes over: “I know this guy...” Laqueur is patient. She allows generous amounts of real estate (pages) to showcase Fish and once she is certain her audience has connected with him, the page is turned and the scene is set for the introduction of someone new. Enter, stage left, Daisy Bianco. The entire process is sprinkled with the perfect balance of sublime nuance for the reader to relish in his or her ‘aha moment’—the moment of clarity and knowing that these two anchored beings were more than a destiny when it came to meeting each other. There is nothing cheeky, predictable or cliché about The Man I Love. Rather, it is a story that speaks to its audience and masters the art of the purpose of a great book. Laqueur’s endless flow of prolific prose, dialogue and rich character development simply translates to: she has nailed this story. I would like to be so bold as to say: ‘Nicholas Sparks! Meet Suanne Laqueur. She’s coming like a steamroller and her engine is: The Man I Love!’ Well done Ms. Laqueur. Please tell us you are working on your next novel!
Quill says: The Man I Love boasts raw writing talent and is a tremendous example of what a great read is supposed to be: the perfect escape!