Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads): The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an unconventional and passionately romantic love story that is as breathtaking and wondrous as The Time Traveler's Wife and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

During WWII, teenager Evelyn Roe is sent to manage the family farm in rural North Carolina, where she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier on their property. She rescues him, and it quickly becomes clear he is not a man...and not one of us. The rescued body recovers at an unnatural speed, and just as fast, Evelyn and Adam fall deeply in love. In The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Rhonda Riley reveals the exhilarating, terrifying mystery inherent in all relationships: No matter how deeply we love someone, and no matter how much we will sacrifice for them, we can only know them so well..

And here's what I thought:    I actually finished this book a few weeks ago, but I couldn't figure out how to write my review.  Which is totally not like me.  However, as much as I liked the book, I couldn't quite figure out what to say ---- and I didn't want to include any spoilers, which is really tricky.

So, in the end, I decided to write a very short review.   Ready?

This book is beautifully written, and although I found the story a bit strange, it was so compelling that it has stayed with me long after I've finished the book.   The way that Riley writes her characters, I felt like I knew them, or wanted to know them.  I also felt there was a solid sense of place in this book, so that even when things were changing with the characters, there was this anchor.   I think this is one of the best examples of a story that illustrates how love can last, and evolve, and how it can transcend elements that might seem completely impassable.

First lines:  My husband was not one of us.  He remains, after decades, a mystery to me.  Inexplicable.  Yet, in many ways, and on most days, he was an ordinary man.


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