Friday, February 01, 2013

Review: The Love of My (Other) Life by Traci L. Slatton

First, because I tend to mention the cover of books, I would like to point out that this is not a book I read because of the cover. I don’t like the cover of this book. It has nothing to do with the story. Yes, there are mentions of Tessa posing nude, but for paintings, specifically Picasso-like paintings. So maybe use a painting of a nude for the cover?

However, I was very drawn to the description of the book. Tessa’s an artist – and I’m interested in art, so I usually like stories about artists – and there’s the whole parallel universe aspect. I’m kind of fascinated by the idea of parallel universes, seems like my early twenties involved a lot of late night, alcohol-fueled conversations about parallel universes. Yeah, so maybe my friends and I are kind of nerds.

This story explores the idea that in different universes, our choices lead us to different points in our lives – for example, in one world, Tessa gave up art to pursue music which took her along a very different path – but our soul mate remains the same, regardless of the path we take.

Because Brian is a physicist, I pictured him as Leonard from Big Bang Theory. This whole story seemed like something he would do. He’s created a device that will allow him to travel to a parallel universe so he can see his soul mate, Tessa. The reason he feels the need to do this isn’t revealed until later in the book, so I’m not going to reveal it now because it might spoil the story.

In his world, he and Tessa are married. However, in this world, Tessa’s life is a mess. Everything around her is falling apart, but rather than try to solve her problems, she’s ignoring them and she keeps going to work at the church, taking care of elderly people, and not caring that she isn’t making enough money to pay her bills. This isn’t working out for her.

Brian’s strange appearance in her life is the best thing that’s happened to her, though she thinks he’s a crazy homeless person. At first, she feels she should run away from him, convinced he’s out of his mind. But she can’t deny the instant connection she feels for him, even though she’s certain they’ve never met. Brian’s influence enables Tessa to think more clearly and make better decisions about her life. Being with him feels right, and soon she finds out that their amazing connection extends to the bedroom. He seems to understand her much better than her ex-husband ever did.

This book isn’t for everyone. It’s a little strange and the characters end up in some silly situations – there are some dealings with a shady art thief and dealer and an accidental foray into performance art. But it’s pretty funny. This isn’t a book that should be taken too seriously. This book is kind of artsy and a little nerdy. Tessa goes on and on about the value of art and her hatred of modern art and art that isn’t beautiful. That didn’t bother me, because, as I said, I’m involved in the art world on a daily basis and could relate to what she was saying. But someone who isn’t that into art might not find it at all interesting.

This is a very quick read. I read the entire book in one sitting. It’s a very sweet love story and a pleasant way to spend a few hours. If artsty and nerdy is your thing, you’d probably enjoy this, I certainly did.

I received a review copy of this book via Netgalley.

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