Content warning and trigger warning: Discussion of abuse, sexism, misogyny, verbal abuse, controlling behaviors. Discussion of problematic consent in past experiences, emotional abuse
How do I talk to you about this book? I don’t even know. It feels like it lifts me to the heavens and then brings me down into the fields and back again. I feel like I should write a poem to this book, instead of a review. It seems to demand something special or extraordinary, because it is an extraordinary book.
The details, the relationships, the horrifyingly accurate sexism and how it stings in the readers soul, even as its laced with patronizing misogyny’s words of best interest: I actually probably should write a poem to this book. Plainly, its giving me feelings.
But you don’t come to this site for poetry: you come for reviews. So here it is, unabashed and honest.
I love it. Oh god how I love it. I haven’t loved a book like this in a while. Its so real and honest and pure and yet not afraid to be wicked. The characters are so believable. Even the villains seem like people you would know down the street. It stings and it binds the wounds and it holds you close and says “I know. I know what its like to feel your world made small by someone. I won’t let them make you small”.
As someone who’s been sewing for years and dabbling in art, as well as spending years in biology and chemistry, it feels as though this book were made for me in some parts. The disdainful treatment of arts claimed to be ‘womanly’, feeling the pressure to be an assistant to someone else’s genius rather than your own and the little grit that gets into the pleasure of a day when someone assumes you weren’t the one who made this glory. The times when someone stole your work and said it was theirs and gave you a small smile, as if to say “Well, you know how it is”.
Its all there. And it enhances everything.
And the love between Catherine and Lucy! Its so sweet, so beautiful, so real. Its hard to not want to touch their faces and hold them close and threaten the lives of anyone who hurts them. They are darlings and they are our darlings. The little bumps and realities of their love story, Catherine’s family love story playing out in reminiscence and just so much fantastic art and science. The moments of doubt and indecision and god, the ways they find to be together.
Can you tell I liked it? I literally can’t quite control myself about it.
I’m not going to spoil anything, other than its a love story, which you already know, because its just too good. You need to savor this book like a glorious chocolate you bought yourself because you wanted it or the perfect baked good on a cold, rainy day with a cup of tea. Let it fill you and warm you and hold you close. Press it to your chest and let it seep in to the cracks of your heart.
Keep it for a bad day if you need to or a good day or just a day when nothing feels right.
And then, when its done, heave a sigh and let it breathe. It won’t go anywhere, because its in your heart now. Hearts are handy like that, keeping what we love.
Until next time,
Not Just a Buzzword
(I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review and I’m going to make a tiny shrine to it cause that’s how I roll sometimes, ok?)