Renee Conoulty: The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, Suanne Laqueur's astonishing debut novel follows a young man's emotional journey to salvage relationships destroyed in the wake of a school shooting.

As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives--a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes. 

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving? 

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love. 

Hey! Here's my review.

Beginning like a light new adult romance, this novel takes a deeper turn into what the author calls "an emotionally intelligent romance". The story continues over a 15 year period, all told from Erik's perspective. The plot builds slowly and draws you in deeper and deeper as it goes. I found the writing style beautiful and descriptive without feeling over written. The recurring themes brought all of the different aspects together. There was light hearted humour interspersed with gut wrenching moments. I enjoyed seeing the characters grow and mature by the end of the novel, especially after following them through their deep emotional struggles.

I received this award winning debut novel free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I tucked it away on my ereader as I had a few other books lined up ready to read first. By the time I got to this one, I had forgotten what it was about. If you go into this book blind, be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster.


  • Where: Author Invitation
  • Format: ebook
Purchase links

Here is the book trailer

The Man I Love was inspired by a piece of music by the same name. 
I'm a big Ella fan, so here is her version.

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