Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Sundays - I Couldn't Love You More

I Couldn't Love You MoreEliot Gordon is raising her three daughters with her partner, Grant Delaney. Two of the girls, Charlotte and Gail are Grant’s from a previous marriage. Although they have been together for five years, Eliot hasn’t made the leap to marriage.

Everything is their life is perfect, until Eliot’s college boyfriend, whom she has never forgotten and still carries unresolved feelings for, unexpectedly returns to her life, sending her ordinary life into a tailspin. Finn’s return will prompt choices and actions that will forever change Eliot and her family’s life.

I Couldn’t Love You More is a novel that touches on a parenting, step-parenting, sisters, first love, marriage and family. Can a mistake, once made ever really be forgiven? It’s a well written and thought-provoking read.

Eliot is a working mom and struggles to maintain a balance between her work and her girls. Although Charlotte and Gail are technically her step-daughters, Eliot devotes as much love and attention to her relationship with them as she does to her own daughter Hailey.

Eliot’s relationship with her two sisters, Sylvia and Maggie is juxtaposed with the relationship of Eliot’s girls. Although she is close to both sisters, the relationship comes with the trials of sisterhood, although I found Sylvia hard to take and thought she was overly dramatic but she had her moments. What I loved about the relationship was what is true of anyone who has a sister, although you fight and drive each other insane, you do anything for each other even at detriment to yourself and Mendoff zones in on this truth and shows just how far sisters will go to protect each other.

Eliot met Finn Montgomery in college. He was her best-friend, her first boyfriend and her first lover. After graduation, Finn left abruptly and never looked back. It took Eliot years to get over him. When Eliot runs into him again, old feelings resurrect and she finds herself facing long forgotten feelings.

I never thought Finn was the perfectly wonderful man Eliot did. But that’s the thing about first loves or the ones that got away, our memories don’t always mesh with the real person, they get distorted and shaped over time to create an unrealistic memory. Eliot clung to this idolized vision of Finn and couldn’t move on with her life in some ways because of him and I just didn’t think he deserved her time and love. I don’t think their love story was all that great but again back to my last comment on first loves.

I read the last quarter of this book with a sense of dread in my belly and couldn’t put it down as I raced to find out what happened - what consequences would Eliot and her family suffer for a split second mistake.  

I enjoyed reading I Couldn’t Love You More. It was a thought-provoking, insightful novel into the heart of family. This would be a great book for Book Club, there is so much to discuss.

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