Book Review: An Exaltation of Larks

An Exaltation of Larks

 4.79  ·   Rating Details ·  173 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
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 pain he's 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.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

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.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **An Exaltation of Larks generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

5+ ”I love stories.” Stars

Within the pages of this book, An Exaltation of Larks, a strikingly beautiful and emotional story fuses then embeds itself into the hearts of its readers. An inviting, rich tale you won't want to end. This story, unlike any other, weaves the complexities of three separate lives into the fabric of each other’s souls with threads of rich passion, tragedies, deep longing, and tightly woven cords of loyalty and understanding.

An Exaltation of Larks examines the endless boundaries of love and friendship. Composed poetically with intelligence and an obvious passion for human beings, their plights and their achievements, Suanne Laqueur allows readers to feel emotions deeply through her literary fiction. She leaves much room for questioning and analyzing our own unique emotions in the grand scheme of her protagonists jilted and fated lives. Laqueur’s precise story telling fuels itself with so much compassion emotions turn and change with each new page.

We walk the line of hardened grown man/scarred young man living in the grey comfort of solitude with Jav. We’re in a tight web of family and belonging with the Larks. We suffer the injustices cast upon our world by those inhumane enough to change lives for their own selfish causes. We empathize with Alex and Val, Trelawney and Roger. We feel vulnerable as they do, brave as they do. We yearn for relationships, whatever form they may be, to run this deep. We bask in the glow of the wonderful things left amongst the rubble.

Recently, I watched an excellent film on Netflix called The Fundamentals of Caring. The very title of this film conveys a message prominent throughout the film that kept me thinking long past “the end” of Larks. While that film and this book are quite different they have parallel themes. Meaning, at it’s very core, the very foundation of the entire wonderful story An Exaltation of Larks surrounds itself with the fundamentals of caring – just like the film. And poignantly and perfectly illustrates how showing a little care and a little compassion can change one’s whole life – one’s as in the carer and the caree.

An Exaltation of Larks proves that caring can change a catastrophic event into something else entirely shaping our perceptions, our sense of selves, and our outlook. While the event and the ghosts from it never leave us they don’t strangle us either. Caring molds the simplest of events into great ones; it forms the brightest thoughts from the darkest clouds. It’s made Jav, Alex, and Val, Roger, Tre, Deanne, and Ari who they are individually thanks to the collective of care they’ve found in their lives. With caring comes compassion, understanding, and acceptance. With caring comes a freedom in our lives afforded through forgiveness forged by love. It’s a simple act. Human decency at its finest to care about someone else’s struggles, passions, and well-being. This book challenges readers to inspect the decency within ourselves and project it outward.

The beautifully flawed characters and their extremely addictive story shaped by wit and compassion and built with the blocks brilliant of craftsmanship abundant in Suanne Laqueur’s writing make An Exaltation of Larksunforgettable. Her complex yet simple creatures for characters storm their way into your heart so fast. The force you to connect with them almost immediately and connect you will do. I can't imagine it's possible not to feel these people and want to know them, all of them. It’s a story you’ll feel in your soul. It imprints itself into your mind and your heart from the very first page. It’s a new top favorite of mine and will remain within my reading soul forever.

These characters, each and every one for whom I met within these pages, touched me somehow, some way with a series of glorious feels I don’t want to ever let go. I’m confident this book will do the same for you. As sure as Suanne Laqueur can create something as powerfully thoughtful, incredibly intelligent, and simply charming as An Exaltation of Larks. And as sure as Javier proclaims – “I like stories” - and never lets go of his distinct passion for stories within the pages of this book there is no question that I, too, love stories and feel immeasurably grateful for the fine-tuned gift of emotional story-telling Laqueur shared with the world in this book. An absolute MUST READ.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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