Ok. It's no secret that I am in love with Mr. Darcy. That if he rode up to my house because he is tormented by his love for me, I would die of happiness. Every female who has read Pride and Prejudice can say that. Even my mother.
But. He isn't the only literary character I swoon at the thought. Take Rhett Butler. Take the Count of Monte Christo. Take Heathcliff. Take Col. Brandon. Take Mr. Knightley. Take a man in a romantic novel, and put his name on the list.
There is just something about men on a page that makes them the ideal man. Even though each one is different, unique and written by different authors, each one is my PERFECT guy. It can't be helped. I grew up in love with Mr. Darcy, and won't ever be able to get over him. My apologies to the real flesh-and-blood men out there who are just as good as Darcy and have the advantage of being real men. It's just that no one will beat Mr. Darcy as the most romantic guy ever, because he did it FIRST.
But, I'm not here to talk about Darcy. (Although I always take the chance to squeeze him into conversations if I get the chance.) No. I'm here to talk about the book I spent the weekend reading, Love Walked In, written by Marisa De Los Santos.
It might very well be one of the best books I have ever read. It made me mad as all get out, but at the same time, I couldn't put it down. I had to keep reading. It made me laugh out loud, cry, but it also made me SWOON.
It is a touching story about a woman in Philadelphia and how 'love walked in.' Its a simple story, with lots of twists and turns, which I very much appreciated, mainly because they kept me guessing as to the real ending. (Just ask my mother, I'm sure she is happy I ended up liking the book, she couldn't handle many more emotional tirades.) I enjoy books that take me on a journey, that cause me to give up control of how I feel and am wholly engrossed by the author's whims.
It reminded me of Wuthering Heights. How you can hate Kathy and Heathcliff to the core of your being and yet they still become the most treasured characters in the end. That's kind of how I felt about this book. It was brilliant.
I was happily surprised by the ending, content with the way things turned out, and wanted to read it again. And again. AND AGAIN. There is a sequel, called Belong to Me. Which I started already. But, I almost didn't want to read the sequel because I wanted to reread that book instead.
But, my favorite thing about the book was the writing. De Los Santos is a poet, and has a PhD. Her writing style is that of a poet, who is very aware of word usage and importance. I was struck with how beautiful it sounded in my head, the quirky characters' inner dialogue. The narration, the dialogue, all of it was beautiful.
I have read some poetry, and taken several classes discussing different poems and such, so I was a little prepared for the allusions and such in the book. But I wasn't prepared for her vast knowledge of poems, Movies, books, everything. There are dozens of comparisons to old movies, The Philadelphia Story being the predominate one. Truth be told, I had only seen some of the movies discussed in the book, and had to just assume that the comparison was a good one for a lot of the time. But, it was so interesting to see the character's self-awareness come out in movie metaphors.
Now, that was my favorite thing about the book, but it didn't make me swoon. Teo Sandoval did.
I promise that the statement following is true and actually happened. I screamed out loud when he said he loved Cornelia. SCREAMED. OUT LOUD. I think I might have kicked my feet a little. (I do that when exceedingly happy.) He was so fantastic. Smart: a doctor. Best friends with Cornelia and her family: they grew up together. Understanding: he knew what she was thinking before having to ask (if that isn't perfection, then what is???). Handsome as all get out: He made even the most eloquent women loose the ability to make proper sentences.
There isn't anything to hate about this guy, except that he ISN'T Darcy. But Someday I'll find a guy who isn't and I won't care, so I can't hold that against everyone.
I think, however, that my favorite thing about Teo is that he was in love with Cornelia from the beginning, and it was also hovering there, just out of reach. But I think that's how love should be, hovering over every situation, not unnoticed, but not overly displayed. It just should be a part of who you are.
My props to Marisa De Los Santos, for getting me to forsake my claim that most of what is written in the past 10 years isn't worthwhile reading yet. Now, go, find this book, and READ IT!!!! Then get the sequel and tell me what you thought of it.
Also, I'd like to give credit to my future sister-in-law for giving me the books to read. I wouldn't have found Teo without her.