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Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Only Matthew Quick could have a movie deal in the works for a novel prior to its release date. But this is no surprise. After all, this is the same author of Silver Linings Playbook, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Now the question remains who will Sony pick to represent the characters in Love May Fail.

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. And why shouldn’t she? She’s just decided to leave her cheating pornographer husband, and her glam life in Florida, to return back to her roots in South Jersey. Starting to feel like she needed something more substantial and meaningful than his playboy lifestyle, she sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her.

Mr. Vernon was Portia’s high school English teacher, and tracking him down proves to be an adventure in itself. Meeting a sassy nun in an airplane, starts off the search, but a series of ordinary flawed characters join in her journey.

For a whole decade, Portia wanted nice things for herself. Who doesn’t? Now she wants to feel like her life has a purpose beyond facile materialism. She asks herself why she didn’t ever thank him for all he did for her. Do people actually go thank their teachers years later, when they are “no longer handicapped by youth and ignorance, when they figure out how much their teachers actually did for them?” Well, Portia Kane is going to do just that.

The story is told from different perspectives. After starting off with the ramblings inside Portia Kane’s head, it’s nice to venture into the calmer and more methodical Mr. Vernon’s. “But after a few days it becomes clear that this women is pure of heart, and her intentions – albeit delusional and wildly misguided – are driven by a need to make things right, if only in a simple-minded way. It’s obvious that she has been deeply wounded, broken by life, and is now attempting to live by a code.”

Love May Fail shows that everything has its breaking point. But, Matthew Quick seems to be an optimist at heart, and just like in his classic book/movie Silver Linings Playbook, there are kernels of hope and redemption. His writing has dry wit and a normalcy that makes his protagonists flawed and human.


Love May Fail is published by Harper Collins Canada.
Review by
@ShilpaRaikar for @SukasaReads (a division of @SukasaStyle)