15 January 2012

Book Review: The Thorn and the Blossom

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
Official Website
Description: One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.
When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .
The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.
Review: The Thorn and the Blossom is a short novel that tells the tale of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. They first meet when Evelyn is visiting the small town of Clews, where Brendan runs his family bookstore. From there, the two young lovers embark on a journey where they discover things about each other, about history, and about themselves.

Evelyn is an intelligent, determined young woman. She is a professor who enjoys literature, history, and tall tales. When Brendan and Evelyn meet, they bond over their interest of the book Sir Gaiwan and the Green Knight. Brendan has known this story for many years, and even wanted to write his own translation of the tale. The week that Evelyn spends in Clews with Brendan goes by quickly, and she has to return to America. But that isn't the last time they see each other. (Obviously, because then there wouldn't be a book)

I really liked The Thorn and the Blossom. Evelyn and Brendan's romance is everything I envisioned for myself. I know that tons of girls out there would love a cute, young writer for a husband. Gah, wouldn't that be nice. Reading about Brendan and Evelyn's nightly ritual made me incredibly sad and lonely. After work, (I forgot to mention that Brendan is a professor also) they drink wine by the fireplace and grade papers. They read novels and discuss poetry and go to fine art galleries and make perfect love and just do things so beautifully. Boys in Staten Island don't do those things! They play Call of Duty and smoke pot! C'MON! Their love was perfect. I always like reading about characters who like to read and write. I think it makes me relate to them more, and like them more.

TTaTB is set up like an accordan, and on one side is Evelyn's story and the other is Brendan's. I loved this set up. This is the first book that I know of that is created this way, and it was such an interesting way to read the story. Goss wrote it so you can start with either character. I started with Evelyn, and I feel that was a good choice. Brendan's story, I felt, was shorter but that's impossible because it was the same amount of pages. Another reason I enjoyed this book as much is because the reader sees two sides to the story, and understands the characters more.

TTaTB is a really wonderful romance story. It has parts that will make you feel like shit about yourself for being single, and then part that make your heart all mushy. I'm making the characters out to seem like perfect gods and goddesses. Brendan and Evelyn definitely had their flaws. Aaand Evelyn's ending and Brendan's ending were totally different. In Evelyn's, I was sad and a little misty-eyed. But with Brendan's, I was more hopeful for the characters.

Overall, The Thorn and the Blossom is an unique story about love, second chances, and hope for the future.

Time worked that way - time was linear; it didn’t circle back. Once you lost something, you couldn’t regain it. That was life.
-The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

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