Sunday, 19 April 2015

Claire Marvel - John Burnham Schwartz

A beautifully written tale of a relationship that should have been better.  Schwartz has written of lovers who know what they want but just cannot somehow get it right.  If this has ever happened to you, do read this book -  and put it right.
Julian and Claire first meet, whilst at college (Harvard), on the steps of a gallery in the pouring rain.  She is holding a yellow umbrella, under which she offers him shelter.  It is obvious from the outset that there is an instant attraction between them, although Julian believes that his love is unrequited, so he meets her when he can, and in the way that shy people sometimes do he desparately hopes that she will see and feel his love.  This strange and haunting relationship, including a trip to France whilst Claire's father is terminally ill, continues until I found myself shouting in my head "for goodness sake - just tell each other what you really mean".  But of course, they do not, and when Claire meets Julian's professor, it is not long before things change for ever.

This is not chick-lit by any stretch of the imagination.  It is a beautifully constructed story of love that should have no limits but has been limited by two people who just cannot say what the other wants desparately to hear.  It's Julian's story told here - but certainly you do get a feel for how Claire feels.... and wonder why she acts as she does towards Julian.  Is it because some people just do not believe that the right person loves them?  Surely that isn't right although I am sure some relationships perish on a sea of untruths or untold beliefs about what the truth really is.

If you like a really well written tale irrespective of the subject matter, then maybe this is worth searching for.  If you like a love story with or without a happy ending, maybe this book is for you.  If you are at a stage in your own life where you wonder should you speak out about your feelings or not - then do give this one a  go.  For you may find the answer here.  I was reminded of  One Day by David Nicholls whilst reading, because of the holding back of emotion; always a danger that you might hold back too long.