Let me say from the start that I am a fan of Claire King’s writing. I have enjoyed her short fiction immensely and I adored her debut novel ‘The Night Rainbow.’ But we all know about the difficult second novel so it was with some trepidation that I began reading Everything Love Is. I am delighted to say that my worries were needless.
Ms King’s second novel is a book of such beauty and sadness. We start the story at the traumatic birth of the main character, Baptiste, on a train headed for Toulouse. What follows is a tale of a man haunted by his past who spends his life as a therapist trying to make his clients happy, yet failing to find happiness for himself. Baptiste lives on a canal boat, the Candice and has many friends along the towpath and in the local bar where he eats most nights. In particular, a young waitress, Sophie develops a relationship with Baptiste and draws him into interacting with the world in ways he isn’t comfortable with. Baptiste also becomes infatuated with one of his clients, a mysterious woman called Amandine who desires nothing more than love.
The story is told from two viewpoints, Baptiste’s and a nameless woman he refers to as Chouette. But who is Chouette and what is the reason for Baptiste’s decline and failing memory?
I adored this book. Ms King’s prose is poetic and beautiful. I could almost taste the stews Baptiste ate at Jordi’s and smell the wild garlic growing along the towpath. The characters are likable and the author quickly made me care for all of them. Highly recommended.
Everything Love Is is available from Amazon from July 28th.
P.S. I have fibromyalgia and am going through a flare up and a bad day for fibro fog. I apologise for my lack of good words in this review. But please believe me, the book is good.