Sunday, 12 March 2017

Suanne Laqueur - Give Me Your Answer True (The Fish Tales #2)

*Contains adult themes (mental health triggers)
**Review by Stacey

"What I feel has no name..." 

Suanne Laqueur's award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare's journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story. 

It's been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he's chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik's unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John "Opie" Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again. 

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy's present life. Supported by John's patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me. 

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

After I had read The Man I Love I had a little bit of a hangover as I wanted to know where Daisy & Erik's story went. GMYAT isn't necessarily a sequel, but rather the same story from Daisy's POV instead of Erik's.

Throughout TMIL although Suanne touched upon Daisy I always wondered what had become of her after the shooting and Erik, and wanted to know more. This is exactly what we find out in GMYAT. Why Daisy did what she did. How truly sorry she was for Erik and how much she wanted to fix things.

If you have read TMIL then you will know the basic plot of the story. GMYAT is obviously the same but it is written slightly differently in that it is all from Daisy's POV rather than all of the characters. It does go back & forth between past & present though which I liked as a reminder. 

The first half of the book is set during Daisy's therapy which she began after starting to self harm. I love the relationship between Daisy and her therapist as I myself know it's hard to find someone you connect with. It was such a release to find out exactly how Daisy felt; in TMIL I kind of disliked her after what she did to Erik but I really warmed to her in this.

The second half of the book involves Daisy's relationships and how she just couldn't find "the one" as all she ever really wanted was Erik. 

John said the sweetest thing: "It feels like your darkest time. But I think it's going to be your finest hour."

There is a ten year anniversary reunion, and everyone but Erik attends. This devastates Daisy, and also Erik when he hears it, and Daisy's voice, on the radio.

Brave and beautiful, she ran down the diagonal. Ran to Will. Caught his hand, threw her leg. Rolled over his back and caught him safe.
She came to a stop, poised in arabesque on his shoulder. Waited to hear a shot ring out. 
Only applause.

The story ends in the same context as TMIL in that years later Erik finally gets back in touch with Daisy and they both want to right all of their wrongs. The emotion in GMYAT is yet again incredible and brilliantly written. Suanne's writing is so different to anything I have read before.

"We have nothing but time now," she said. "Come lie down with me. Tell me everything. We'll talk forever."

I believe that you actually don't need to read TMIL before this one as it gives the whole story but in a totally different way; though they are both brilliant books and should definitely both be on your to read list. Once again I had a book hangover when I finished this, and it will be on my recommended reads for a long time. Another definitive five of five stars from me.

You can keep up with Suanne and news about her books on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Get your copy of Give Me Your Answer True here (UK) or here (US). Add to your Goodreads TBR here.

I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

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