Published by Cathedral Rock Press on June 20th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
"What I feel has no name..."
Suanne Laqueur's award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare's journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.
It's been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he's chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik's unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John "Opie" Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.
Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy's present life. Supported by John's patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.
In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.
Storytelling at its finest.
I finished this at 11:19 at night with my heart racing its way up to my throat. I am sitting here with discontent because the book ended, yet content because the story was beautiful and cathartic and brilliant.
I didn’t read the blurb before I started, so I assumed this would be a continuation of the first book. Honestly, I freaked out a little in the beginning. WHAT? WHY? WHAT HAPPENED? But then as I settled in, I realized we were getting a new story. One told in the 3rd POV of DAISY. (The first book, The Man I Love, was told in 3rd POV of ERIK.) I say new, because while Give Me Your Answer True paralleled The Man I Love, we get a new story from DAISY’S POV. We get her happy, her sad, her angry, her frightened, her depression. We read it all, as book #1 unfolds in book #2.
Normally, I detest these kinds of books, I generally feel the two stories should have been combined. However, here, aside from the fact that it would have been a hellaciously long book, it works perfectly. The author does not bore you with a retelling of events. Instead, the stories are “repurposed” from DAISY’S view. Like when DAISY writes her first letter to ERIK (and asks him to come to her), we read her trepidation, her fear of rejection and her giddy, young adult crush.
❝Please be kind.❞
Now, let’s talk about the way, this story is presented. We get new material as we read about her story while she is delving into her life with her therapist. It totally gave me a new view of who DAISY is. I thought she was this strong, formidable woman, and while she is all of those, she is also slightly damaged from memories of her childhood and has an intense need to be perfect and please everyone, often times putting her needs last.
❝…you can let your sorrow accompany you on the road of life without letting it be the road itself.❞
Powerful stuff, right? This book is chock full of powerful stuff. I defy you to end GMYAT not having learned something about yourself, about your life, about your relationships.
I loved watching DAISY progress and heal through therapy. I loved her strength, perseverance, and her fight to survive. Watching her turning point when she allowed herself to be accepting and forgiving, while never forgetting, was captivating and breathtaking.
❝I am sorry, I love you and I forgive myself.❞
Also, I am stricken with how knowledgeable the author is about therapy and ballet. I know something about therapy, given my previous profession, Ballet, not so much. This book wasn’t just literary adventure, it was also a learning one.
Once again, Suanne Laqueur provides beautiful prose and stellar characters inside a captivating storyline.
❝And even ugly could be beautiful.❞