From Kate’s Writing Crate…
I love novels filled with insightful asides. If they also appeal to you, you’ll enjoy When We Meet Again by Kristin Harmel.
Love is the theme of this book. Love at first sight. Eternal love. Love denied. Unrequited love. Love thy neighbor—or not. Familial love—or not—and the patterns that repeat through generations.
It’s the story of Emily Emerson whose father walked out on her and her mother. She should have seen it coming as her paternal grandfather abandoned her grandmother when she was pregnant with Emily’s father, but, at eleven years old, she was shocked, devastated, and enraged.
Only seven years later, her mother died. Her father called. He offered little comfort and no sanctuary. Thankfully, the only grandmother she ever knew took her in, but not before the choices Emily made in her grief had consequences.
Now at thirty-six, Emily’s life is disrupted by the loss of her reporting job just after her grandmother died.
Then, as described on the back cover, “…she receives a beautiful, haunting painting of a young woman standing at the edge of a sugarcane field under a violet sky. That woman is recognizable as her grandmother—and the painting arrives with no identification other than a handwritten note saying, ‘He never stopped loving her.’"
‘Emily is hungry for roots and family, so she begins to dig.’”
I’m not going to ruin the book for readers with any spoilers so the quotes by characters will be unattributed. I just want to share some of the insights written by Kristin Harmel.
“I feel more for you now than I ever have for anyone before. How is that possible? We hardly know each other, and yet, I feel like you’re already a permanent piece of my soul.”
“Sometimes, things are simply meant to be.” (page 92)
“Every time someone hurts you, you carry a little piece of that with you. When it’s one of the people who’s supposed to love you most in the world, well, I’d imagine that takes a whole chunk out of your faith in humanity…I don’t want that to be my legacy to you." (page 210)
“When you’re young, you think you’ll have a hundred opportunities to find the kind of love that fills you up, the kind of love that sustains you. But the reality is, you’re lucky to find it even once in a lifetime. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to reality, to make up a fairy tale in your head. But once you’ve felt real love, you know deep down when you are faking it. You know when you are lying to yourself.” (page 237)
“How can two people love each other that much, wind up in the same city, and never see each other? It’s so cruel and senseless. Why do any of us fall in love like that if we aren’t given the chance to find each other again?" (page 303)
“It was inconvenient to love someone who would never love you the same way, because it held you back in life. It tied you to something you could never have." (page 312)
“The story that led us here was written long before you were born…There are different kinds of love in the world, aren’t there?” (page 314)
This is the first book I’ve read by Kristin Harmel, but it won’t be my last.