An aspiring feminist and underappreciated housewife embarks on an odyssey to find human decency and goodness - and her high school English teacher - in New York Times best-selling author Matthew Quick's offbeat masterpiece, a quirky ode to love, fate, and hair metal.
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking to find the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off to save herself by saving someone else - a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a traumatic incident.
Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metalhead little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt her chances on this madcap quest to restore a good man's reputation and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.
©2015 Matthew Quick (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
"Listeners will be exhilarated by this loving tribute to teachers, writers, and literature." (AudioFile)
This is a book that will fill your heart. Not in a heavy-handed way. It's a lightweight heart-warmer. A solid 4 star listen, but not epic enough for the 5 star award.
Here's the Google search that would produce this book:
metalheads, nuns, coincidences, Dead Poets Society, addiction, South Jersey diners, hoarding, cheating ex-husband, Vermont, NYC, NJ.
Note on the beginning: I found the main character's narration to be irritating and overly snarky. I almost stopped listening. She takes it down a notch soon enough tho, thankfully. So don't give up too soon.
Enjoyable characters. I did not quite fall in love with any of them, but I liked them very much.
A credit well spent.
I feel as if I spent the whole book waiting for more bad things to happen and unable to appreciate the good moments because the characters were never very happy even when things were going well. Is it really that difficult to achieve some grace/happiness in life? I found it hard to feel much compassion for Portia. For a seemingly intelligent woman, she seemed rather selfish.
As an almost 50 year old woman, I was worried that I'd find this somewhat immature. However, I enjoyed how the story flowed, loved both of the nun characters and even though a few of the characters were a bit over the top, I found them interesting and poignant. I liked the story being told from multiple character's points of view, as well. I'd recommend this book as an easy listen that will entertain you and sometimes pull on your heartstrings.
I smiled throughout this listen, sometimes a smile mixed with a few tears. I've listened to hundreds of books and never took the time to rate own. Clever structure with the different voices picking up the timeline, wonderful narration. Some of it was hokey and predictable but that was part of the charm. 5 stars, for sure
Great story that made you connect with the characters and root for peace, understanding, and triumph.
The narrators were mostly excellent. The intonation of the Portia Kane character had a swing to it that was hard to take most of the time but the other characters were well cast. Mr Vernon's voice was spot on with what I would expect for his character. Some of the impressions that the male characters did of the female characters' voices felt mocking or degrading at times. I did like that there were different narrators for each character so it made keeping them straight much easier.
I would recommend the book either to read or in the audio format though despite my comments about the narration. Personal preference perhaps.
Love may fail, but stories like this remind us that it also wins. The different voices for different major characters also works very well.
I love books that make me stop what I'm doing just so I can find out what happens next.
This book is rife with ideas and possibilities of what your life would be like if you followed your heart, lived your dream… And what happens when all of those things fall apart and what happens next. Love May Fail actually allowed me to re-examine my life. This would be a great book club book!
This is a nice quirky story. It held my attention and I found myself making time to read. It did get a bit draggy around 70% or 80% in, but it was a short stint and forgiven.
The characters are what made this book stand out for me - and what characters they are! The story opens with a scene in which a scorned wife, Portia, is hiding in her own closet in order to catch her husband, a director in the porn industry, cheating on her with the (very likely underage) "talent". Just from that right there, you know this isn't going to be an ordinary story. But wait! There's more. Portia hops on a plane and heads back to her hometown and she tells her tale to her seatmate, providing much too much detail - stuff one might not even share with a best friend - but our protagonist goes right on with her storytelling. The fact that she is discussing it with a nun does not stop her. Yep! A nun. This sassy little nun will pop up again in the book and she is a hoot! But before that happens, Portia arrives home and we meet her mentally ill mother who is an extreme hoarder. I'll never look at a Diet Coke Lime without thinking of Portia's mom (do they even make that stuff anymore?). Next, we meet Mr. Vernon, Portia's high school English teacher, who is now living a reclusive life with his one and only companion, Albert Camus. Not the French writer, no he died long ago. This Albert Camus is Mr. Vernon's dog. There are still at least two more main characters I need to tell you about, but this is getting long.
The story is cute, fun, funny, and thought-provoking - an inspiring story about not being ashamed of your past and being able to make a new beginning at any stage in life.
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