“He reaches out, slowly, carefully, as if afraid to scare away a butterfly that alighted on his sleeve, and takes my hand.”
“Female friendship remains a strange and baffling thing to me. I’m thinking I might give up on the idea altogether.”
“I want to say me too. I want to tell him about all the empty hours and the mental tricks to think about something else. I want to tell him about what I saw in those photos I gave him and ask if that really was the way he saw me. But I was never very good with forming feelings into words. Maybe that’s why I always relied on shapes and colors.”
This book is emotionally tense, tightly wound, and well written. I liked it, yet it annoyed me - although I am not a big fan of angst. The tale is written in first person and the main character, Hannah, was difficult for me to like, despite however much I wanted to. Hannah is a bit odd and has a somewhat toxic personality, and has become quite adept at keeping most people at bay. The author teased me with interesting yet tiny details about her characters, really just feeding me breadcrumbs… but she succeeds in stringing me along and never really revealing the meatier entrée of the backstory. I am greedy, I want the full meal. I want to know that deep dark secret that would ruin everything if it were exposed. She wouldn’t tell hers, he wouldn’t tell his, they danced around each other with uncomfortable awkwardness when attempting to open up to their issues, although they were obviously good together and had fantastic steamy sex. Add in the constraints of a forbidden relationship of teacher/student. He finally tells his history, but she never really fessed up to the totality of her dark traumatic secret. It was like having an itch you can’t reach, I find it rather maddening. Finally during the final pages, we get a little taste of her prior events, but it was just a glimmer, so I finished still feeling a bit itchy.