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If I Forget You Paperback – 4 May 2017
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Thomas Christopher Greene's If I Forget You is the most moving and beautifully-written love story I've read since Cold Mountain. -- Howard Frank Mosher, author of God's Kingdom Romantic, full of yearning, and hopeful, this is an unapologetically passionate tale about the kind of enduring love we dream about when we are young. -- Robin Oliveira, New York Times bestselling author This love story makes for a perfect beach read. * Real Simple * A powerful, emotionally moving love story. * Library Journal * Hypnotic. -- Eric da Costa, author of Seven Days Beautifully written... addictive -- Civilian Reader Incredibly beautiful and compulsively readable, The Headmaster's Wife will keep you mesmerized into the wee hours. A master storyteller, Greene's biggest achievement is proving that the most complex mystery of all is how and why we love. * Kimberly McCreight, bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia on The Headmaster's Wife * Nothing is what it appears in this brilliant story of a life gone awry... The author's true intentions make this tale even more remarkable, for the book is, at its core, a trenchant examination of one family's terrible loss and how the aftermath of tragedy can make or break a person's soul. * Publishers Weekly on The Headmaster's Wife * Greene's haunting tale tracks the unraveling of a marriage. It starts, eerily, with a naked man's arrest... then twists back in time through love, grief, betrayal, and love again. * Good Housekeeping US on The Headmaster's Wife *
‘[Greene] has created two believable and empathetic characters ... readers will be rooting to see Henry and Margot together again despite the odds.’ (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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So far this does sound like a standard love story, but please believe me there is a lot more to it than that. There is humour, sex, sadness, excellent dialogue and a few surprises. Not wishing to ruin it for readers , I can go no further than to say that this was a two sessions beautifully written page turner for me which my wife is now devouring.
This was a book that slowly drew you in, telling the story of Margot and Henry. Theirs was a Romeo and Juliet love story with everything going against it. When they first meet as students in 1991 it is the archetypal mismatch of small town Jewish boy versus WASP frat girl. Yet Henry's quiet, thoughtful poetic persona seems to be the balm that Margot needs and they fall headlong and infatuatedly in love. But life steps painfully in and separates them for 21 years until a chance meeting re-ignites the flame. The question is, is it too late?
The story is told in alternating time frames between 1991 and 2012 with Margot and Henry offering their perspective of the events. This worked well, it was easy to follow and was an interesting way of bringing their individual characters and backgrounds to the fore.
I loved, this book, it was gentle thoughtful and poetic (just like Henry). The language was beautiful and emotive and it worked for me. This was a love story on so many levels. It was a love story about the past and the people they were as well as a love story about the present and the people they could be again. It was as if Margot and Henry had been merely going through the motions for 20 years, not really living and loving but surviving, but until they meet again they haven't fully understood this. For me it was also a love story about New York as you walked it's streets and parks and it features my beloved Flatiron building so that also swayed it for me.
I have seen the book described as cliched and boring, but I prefer to describe it as relatable and quietly powerful and look forward to reading more by this author.
'If I Forget You' tells the story of a lost love, and the man who kept looking. Henry Gold, is a poet who came from a family without much money. Providence, RI, where he became a good baseball player, good enough to win him a scholarship to a prestigious college in upstate New York. It was here that he found his calling in life, poetry and writing. And it was here that he found his love, Margot Fuller, a beautiful woman from a very wealthy family. They fall in love but, alas, they were not meant to be together, and this is where the story begins.
Told from the viewpoints of Henry and Margot in alternating chapters, we learn about their lives, and their search for one another. The writing is superb, it is lyrical and lovely, not surprising coming from a man with a fine arts background. This is a story about love and family, and the search for what seems beyond your dreams. There is always a catch it seems, in the author's novels, and this one is the same. In the end the question of love and choices remains the same.
Recommended. prisrob 06-23-16
T.C. Greene is a consummate writer. Given that Henry is a poet, Greene’s writing matches the intensity and quality a reader might expect from Henry. Having read the first few pages of If I Forget You, I knew I was going to be captivated by the style. The continuous present tense suggests that, despite everything, the love between Henry and Margot has endured the intervening years.
I don’t usually enjoy plots that go back and forth in time, but this one worked so well, gradually peeling back the time and memories so that a full picture is given to the reader. I think those wanting a racy, thrilling plot will be disappointed. This is not what If I Forget You is about as it builds more quietly into a hugely satisfying read. However, I had several ‘Oh no!’ moments where I wanted events to turn out differently and this made me read on rapidly as I needed to know the outcomes.
What I thought was interesting about how much I enjoyed If I Forget You, was the fact that I didn’t much like Margot and yet I still wanted to know what happened to her and cared about how she was affected by events. I think it takes a highly skilled writer to be able to hold the reader’s attention this way.
I also loved the setting. The backdrop of New York took me back to living and working there and I thought T.C. Greene presented it perfectly. I rarely mention artwork but I thought the cover for the book portrayed New York wonderfully.
However, what moved me most about If I Forget You was the intensity of emotion. The rawness of grief, guilt, obsession and love mix with indifference and the euphoria of joy to create a wonderful picture of humanity.
Anyone who has loved and lost cannot fail to be moved by this If I Forget You.
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