August 03, 2012
I can't remember where I heard of this book but it had been on my to-read list for quite awhile before I picked up a used copy for $4. The protagonist, Julian, meets beautiful Claire Marvel one day after they both get stuck in the rain and wait it out under her umbrella. Thus begins a love story that runs deep but is fragile and unsteady.
The book is well written but it is slow. I loved Julian's sweet words regarding the joys of his teaching job, such as when he says "...there'd been the gratification of helping my students choose their paper topics. This was teaching, after all, guiding, putting spark to the kindling of curiosity and seeing what sort of fire burned. Learning as a blaze of light."
The story isn't about teaching though, it's about Claire and Julian's deep love for one another yet their inability to be together. Blame it on Claire's flightiness or Julian's passivity - I'm still not really sure why they had to stray from one another. This book was beautiful in the emotions that it conveyed, but I'm still not sure what sets it apart from other tragic love stories. It is enticing but not mesmerizing. I hardly even remember the details of the book - just the exterior story that guides the pages. It was a good book but I don't think anybody would miss it.