Friday, September 11, 2009

The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess

From the author's website: Love is always a leap of faith...

There are magical moments in life that part time and change everything. That moment came for Glenda Burgess when she met a charming and enigmatic stranger. But with the undeniable spark came the discovery of a tragic and disturbing past. Despite this, she embarks on a passionate affair that becomes a second chance at happiness for both of them until a cruel twist of fate turns their world upside down.

The Geography of Love is a powerful and moving exploration of a woman's life, of love tested by unthinkable circumstances, and of our ability to love and trust no matter what the odds. It is also a poignant love letter to a woman's great love, a man who had lost so much yet taught her to see every twist and turn that life offers as an adventure and an opportunity.

My feelings about Geography of Love are ambivalent. I like memoirs, I like dysfunctional families, and I like a good cry now and again - this book was all of those. But it was also a love story and the love story part of it was just a bit much. Like... "as his bare chest glistened in the light"...., he says, ..."Being with you feels like an open horizon." Please. No man I know talks like that. No man I know glistens in the sunlight (BTW - I really wanted that from the movie version of Edward but didn't get it. See, even Edward doesn't glisten.) Maybe this is just the "tired working mother of three about to celebrate her twenty year anniversary" blues but that's not the kind of love I know and thus it was hard to connect with this couple.

My ambivalence also comes from the fact that this is a memoir, so these are real people, how can I criticize her memory of this great love? Who am I to say, "It's too much."? I felt I ought to like these people. I wanted to like this story, and in a way I did. There were these glimpses of really interesting things like her scrappy mother and his dubious past. It would be that pulse quickening, Oh now it's getting interesting!, moment. But then it would pass and we'd be back to drinking wine and laying heads in each other laps.

The journey through cancer was exquisitely, painfully detailed. Every woman my age has someone they care about fighting this battle and reading through it was emotional. But it was a good kind of ache because it was real. Unlike the syrupy romance sections, the gritty sections captivated me and kept me turning pages

I read this book for the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I like a good memoir and dysfunctional families, but that love story does sound a bit over the top.