September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.
“Second chances are given or made.” Suanne Laqueur, An Exaltation of Larks
Wow!! An Exaltation of Larks is poetic, risqué, sensual, and beautiful. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read. If you’ve been reading my reviews (thank you) you know I always aim for short and sweet reviews, but this one is worthy of a few more lines. From the beginning, Laqueur had my undivided attention. This impressive, magnificent novel is about family, second chances, sexuality, loyalty, and love. The story shows how unpredictable love is, how complicated and baffling relationships can be, and how actions can affect our lives forever. Laqueur is an extraordinary and gifted writer who exudes a healthy dose of poetic naughtiness. Even though parts of the book involve sex and sexuality (some naughty words), it surprisingly did not bother me. Perhaps because Laqueur is such a smooth operator that captivates with her graceful writing. I fell hook, line and sinker.
Here is an example of Laqueur’s enchanting writing, “He was wounded to the core. A victim of emotional assault who couldn’t press charges.” See what I mean? Here’s another one just in case you need more, “He lifted his face to the stars, asking love to be his friend.” Laqueur, where have you been all my life? Days after finishing the novel, I was not able to stop thinking of Javier, Alex and Val — major book hangover. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, refreshing and different, I highly recommend this book. My prediction? You will not want to put it down. (I still think of Javi…and wonder how he is doing). I have recommended this book to several people and they love it! This will remain one of my favorite books. 🙂
Thank you NetGalley and Suanne Laqueur, for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. You know a book is good when you go out and buy it after you read it for free. Yup, it is that good! What are you waiting for — go get your copy!