Hello and happy Wednesday. Around this time last year, maybe a little earlier, I read a book by Matthew Quick that greatly impacted my life. While I was reading that book I went through a strange breakup and a few weeks after that I got fired. But Matthew Quick and his words got me through that. Now, thankfully, I’m in a totally different place in life, and maybe that’s the reason why Love May Fail by Matthew Quick didn’t hit me as hard as the other books from him I’ve read.
I read this book between January 13th and the 26th, 2020 and gave it three stars. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement, but we’ll talk about later. Clearly based on my introduction, we can all agree that the expectations were high and sadly they weren’t met.
This was an adult novel but for some reason, I thought it would be a young adult and I was confused for a while. Portia, one of the main characters and the first we’re introduced to, is unlikable and this is done on purpose. She’s meant to be petty and to have controversial opinions, and to clarify, no, this isn’t why I didn’t give the book three stars; Matthew Quick’s books aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and his characters aren’t either.
The book starts with Portia, who has decided to kill her husband after she finds out he’s cheating on her yet again. The guy owns a pornography company (or however you call those, I’m not very familiar with the industry) and she has been unhappy with him for a while. As I’m writing that premise and going through my notes, it’s obvious to me that this is why I didn’t like the book, this is why it didn’t hook me from the beginning: I didn’t feel like I was reading a Matthew Quick novel. That being said, as I kept reading, I found more of the author I know and love, but it wasn’t enough.
I said we had main characters, in plural, because this book is divided into parts and each is narrated by a character. They all belong to the same story but we get to find out more about their lives and their particular thoughts. After Portia catches her husband having sex with a much younger woman in their own bed, she flies back to her hometown and makes it her mission to save the life of her old high school teacher, who Portia finds out had been beaten up five years earlier. Nathan Vernon, the teacher is one of the characters, and so is his mom, Sister Maeve, a nun who Portia meets on her flight to her hometown. There, back home, she also meets Chuck, who had been Mr. Vernon’s student two years before Portia was. You can see how this does resemble a Matthew Quick story, right?
If you’ve read anything by Matthew Quick then you probably already know that mental illness is a recurrent topic in his novel. This particular book has mentions of suicide all the way through, so keep that in mind when considering whether you should read this book. There is also a scene in which an animal jumps and gets hurt, which leads to their death, and I wasn’t prepared to read about that, so be wary of that as well.
Have you read anything by Matthew Quick? If so, what do you think about his books? Let me know in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila