Sunday, February 14, 2016

Always: A Love Story by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen

Because it's Valentine's Day...

Always: A Love Story was written by Trevor Meldal-Johnsen and originally published in 1979. It was well-received at the time and published in four countries in multiple languages. Always was recently republished by the author's widow Corinne Simon-Duneau who graciously gifted it to me for review. This new paperback version has been edited from the original and includes a foreword by Simon-Duneau and an extended biography of the author.

In Always: A Love Story, Gregory is an Oscar-nominated film writer who has developed a strong obsession for a long-dead actress. Brooke Ashley and her lover had tragically died together in a fire in the 1940s, but Gregory can't piece together how or why. Something about Brooke won't let him let it go.

Always is a romantic thriller that mixes old Hollywood with Hollywood of the late seventies. The story was written in the seventies, but for the most part it's not really obvious. It's mostly the absence of laptops and cell phones that calls out the period every once in a while. All the same, I love a good 20th century period novel.

The first half of the book is a little slow in its telling. There are chapters of researching and discovering and obsessing and arguing. However, the last hundred pages really picked up and I couldn't put it down from there. I thought the story was going in a predictable direction, but I was actually surprised at the outcome of events. Being as A Love Story is part of the title, I hadn't expected the elements of action and danger. But I got them. There were a few moments when I actually audibly gasped. That's not like me. People stared.

Always is a beloved book that many are getting the chance to rediscover. I didn't have as strong a reaction as other readers, but I did enjoy the story. The central theme of "love never really dies" was well executed. The suggestion that we may come back to this Earth multiple times settled heavy on my mind as I read Always. But, I felt the romance factor to be less prominent than the paranormal. I would probably re-title the book Always: A Mystery. But, if you love romance and mystery and nostalgia and the paranormal, this book satisfies all those categories.

I recommend Always: A Love Story to anyone looking for something beyond the usual themes that are out there today.

1 comment:

  1. Hi everyone,

    Hope you are all well.Today I am talking about love.So please drawing kind attention from all.Do you know,The 3 Inherent Qualities of Love:
    (1) Love is complete acceptance: When we allow someone to be exactly as they are, without any belief that they aren’t good enough, without any belief that they would be “better” if they were different, this is love.

    (2) Love is completely unconditional: Love has no conditions. When we truly love someone, we can’t stop loving them, regardless of what they do or say. If our love is dependent upon the other person acting and speaking how we want, then this love is completely conditional. We often confuse this to be love, but this is just positive thoughts about someone. Positive thoughts or the thought “I love you” isn’t necessary to love. Sometimes it even gets in the way.

    (3) Love is selfless: True love doesn’t want anything in return, because there is nothing it needs. We just love for the sake of love. If that is what we are looking for, then we are just using the other person. What is the meaning of love? Love is completely selfless.

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