About the book:
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur’s fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
You should be able to look your income in the face- Gloria Landes
I came across this book on Netgalley- and I was intrigued by the title before I read the blurb. An exaltation of larks…well, the only collective noun I know in my sleep is a pride of lions.
The story takes us back to Chile in September in the 1970s when Pinochet’s got his grip on power and the country and we are introduced to eleven-yer-old Alejandro Penda- who watches the city crumble and with it, first his Father, then his mother and unborn sibling. He arrives alone in America and is taken in by the Larks.
Javier del Soto on the other hand, flees from home when his family shun him for getting caught kissing his cousin Nesto. Apparently, you could be a lot of things as a Dominican but never show signs of being gay. He takes on as many odd jobs as he can, anything to eat and stay alive- and also forget the insults and beatings he received from his Uncle. He meets Gloria Landes and she mentors him into being one of the Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts and he meets Alejandro/Alex and Valerie in his twenties and their story is sealed from then.
The author’s writing brings to life their struggles, the wounds they carry into adulthood- their zest for life and she gives you a front row seat into their decision making processes as well.
I loved this book and Jav carries with him one thing his Father told him:
Second chances are given or made.- Rafael Gil del Soto
In weaving their paths and working through their childhood trauma, Alex and Jav, find that they are one- their pain, their fears, it’s like being home in the presence of one another and it broke my heart when Jav at some point said it;
“Same,” Jav said. “It’s not the larks that kill you. It’s the exaltation.”
And I’m big on moments in books that move me to tears or to smile at the sheer truth in it and Gloria Landes had such moments in this book. Her relationship to and with Jav, is the one ray of sunshine that I see Jav carry on and replicate with Ari later on in the story.
“Every date you have will be an opportunity to learn something,” Gloria said. “Never stop learning. You already like to read, which is an advantage. Read everything. Newspapers, magazines, books. Be informed. Be up-to-date. Be both interesting and interested in others. Everyone has something fascinating about them, Jav. Your job is to find it. Then you can fuck it.”
The best part is that the story does not end there- Javier’s/Jav’s story continues in the next book in the Venery series, “A Charm of Finches,” and finally wraps up back in Chile in “A Scarcity of Condors.”
This has been a great read this week and it’s the highlight of my week especially after having worked a lot on a project that I hope to launch towards the end of this year:
“His uncle had collected people the same way he collected books and art.”- Alex
About the author:
Visit her website: http://suannelaqueurwrites.com/