An Exaltation of Larksby Suanne Laqueur
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he's taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan's top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to emotions long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.
- CreateSpace Publishing
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- 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.00(d)
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I am so thankful that this book was brought to my attention. It is definitely my favorite read of 2016 and the best I've read in a long time (that's saying something because I read a lot). I loved everything about it. I had many smiles and tears along the way. My heart squeezed and soared. The story follows main characters and the people in their lives for several decades, from childhood to middle age. It's a tale of connected families. Death, love, tragedy, war, hope, lust, friendship, parenthood, PTSD, prejudice, pain, culture, family, loss, happiness, sexuality, marriage...basically every human emotion and state of being are covered. The story is told from several points of view, two being an American refugee from Chile who lost most of his family and a Dominican American who was disowned by his family. The cast is from all walks of life, ages, races, etc. The storyline was completely original for me. It's a novel about living and all the ups and downs and snapshot moments and bigger pictures. Issues don't always tie up neatly or quickly. Just like reality sometimes the tone is heartbreaking, bittersweet, beautiful or magnificent. I'm still so deep in the feels that I can't get it out of my head. This author truly has a gift. There are a lot of good books out there, but finding something that touches me on this level is a rare unicorn. Bravo!
On September 11, 1973 Alejandro (Alex) Penda’s life at the age of 11 is destroyed. Everything he’s known of his native Santiago, Chile is gone and he is forced to move to America. When tragedy strikes again, he is taken in by The Larks. A prominent and well known family. He quickly finds his place with them. But do not be mistaken. His sorrow and heartache is left unsettled and unresolved. This goes on to haunt him for years to come. And you will witness this. Valerie (Val) Lark. The Lark’s daughter, was always his solace. His peace. His safe place. Their love is inevitable. Their life together is nothing short of eventful. Javier (Jav) Pendas is kicked out of his house as a teenager. With no money to his name and a family that has shunned him, he does something he never thought he would. It allows him to put a shield around him. No one can love him. Love only brings despair and pain. Until he meets the one person who threatens the impenetrable wall around his heart. But the timing is just off. And Jav has so much more of his own feelings to explore. As an adult he endures his own September 11th in the year of 2001. And if you’re like me, that date is forever imprinted on your heart. There is a scene that WRECKED me. I felt his grief. I was a puddle on my own couch. It throws his life into a trajectory he never sees coming. A potential chance at love and life is now gone. Forever. Circumstances cause Jav, Alex, And Val’s lives to cross paths over time. Their tragedies bond them in a way they never thought possible. They’re all meant to be in each other’s lives. But with this comes love, betrayal, and torn relationships. Jav always said he destroyed the people he loves. But this? This is different. This book is simply the best book I’ve read all year. There I said it. Top read of 2016. Without question or hesitation. The emotional depth of this story is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. You feel things you will question about your own thoughts and beliefs. About love. And life. The author goes there. You begin to believe in the impossible. The resiliency of love and all it entails is challenged. You. Are. Pushed. Overwhelmed. With the power of words. Her words. The writing is riveting, exhilarating, and poetic. The author is a master in her craft. The storylines are written in parallel form and it is flawless. Seamless, even. When the two storylines come together, its magic and brilliance all at once. Her ability to compose and execute such profound and deeply moving storylines is incomparable. With her highly refined and stunning prose, you are held captive as you are weaved through this magnetic and compelling story. Discussing the plot would be a complete disservice to anyone thinking about reading this book. There is no thinking or contemplating. THIS book is why I love reading. Why I spend hours of my life between the pages of a book. Alex, Val, and Jav share a connected that is deeply seated as it is threaded throughout the entire book. The story spans decades, but you never feel the length of this book. You live in the moments. In their moments of grief, happiness, and exhilaration, you live it with them. The love in this story is powerful. Between every single character. It’s the kind that will have your heart beating. Longing. I wept. I loved. I lived. As I write this, I am filled with overwhelming emotions of just how deep this story goes. The love in this book knows no time or circumstance.
First of let me say, I basically bought this book because I fell in love with this author after reading The Man I Love and The Fish Tales Series. After reading the book description, I wasn't really sure about it but then I just went into it blind. I cannot say enough about this story. It was captivating, riveting and I literally couldn't put it down. There were so many twists and turns...lives weaving together in unbelievable ways. I don't want to say anymore because I think this is a book you just pick up and read without knowing anything. The author is a master storyteller, her characters rich and beautifully developed. She is able to grab you and keep you engrossed asking yourself "what the heck is going to happen next" until you read the last line and then you sit back and reflect wondering WOW what did I just read. Read this book, feel this book because it is EPIC!