Author: Matthew Quick
Published: June 4th 2015 by Picador
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her cheating husband and their posh Florida life, she finds herself transported back home and back to square one. In need of saving herself, she sets out to find and resurrect a beloved high-school English teacher who has retired after a violent incident in the classroom.
But she quickly learns that it's not a one-woman job. Luckily she meets a few people on her journey. Can Chuck, the handsome brother of Portia's old school friend, together with a sassy nun and a metal-head little boy, help Portia's chances in her bid for renewed hope in the human race?
It's going to be quite a ride.
Moving and funny, Love May Fail is about the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know deep down you are meant to be.
Review: When I finished this book I was a bit in two minds about it so I decided to wait a couple of weeks to write the review to have more of an insightful view of it. I think it was a good idea because now, almost three weeks after finishing it, I can tell you that I am glad I read this book, the whole of it. When I started it, I first thought it was ok-ish but then, after reading some more, I really thought about just abandoning it. But Matthew Quick being such a famous and acclaimed author (and after really enjoying Silver Linnings) I decided to persevere and I am glad that I did. All in all, I'm left with a good feeling of the book.
Love May Fail is divided in four parts, each part narrated by a different character. They are all linked and end up forming quite a unified story told chronologically with flashbacks to the past (especially in the first part). We start reading about Portia Kane who has just realised her marriage and her entire life don't really make sense and leaves her cheating husband to go back home. But home is not the welcoming place you might think, her mother has mental problems and struggled all her life to raise and care for her. That is when we learn about a very important figure in Portia's past, her high school teacher, Nate Vernon.
Nate Vernon takes over the second part, where we find a hugely depressed man who has lost all hope in life. It's quite shocking to compare this shallow man with the idealized figure Portia presented. And when the two reunited, something didn't really work for me. I couldn't understand how Portia couldn't see what was in front of her eyes. The old Mr Vernon was no longer there, instead he was a man in great need of help, something she failed to provide in my opinion.
Next comes the third part which I found myself skipping more than once. It's made of letters from a mother to a son who has no intention of listening. Here is when I seriously thought about just leaving the story as it didn't hold my interest any more. But I was curious about the last part, narrated by Chuck, also an old student of Mr Vernon who is now part of Portia's life. This was by far the most interesting part. We learned a lot about all the character and it really helped me understand them and their actions better. This part was a bit the piece that made all the other parts fit.
All in all, Love May Fail is quite an interesting read but in my opinion it drags a bit too much. During the book several years pass but the pace of the story is quite slow. As I said, I am glad that I finished reading it because at the end it really made me think. The topics it covers are important and quite well managed and you end up caring for the characters a great deal.