Innocence - Suki Fleet This book is so precious.

This book is my precious.

There is something about this author I can’t explain. It just reaches the core of my being. She is one of those mythological creatures that just happens to write books. And I just happen to read them. Nothing predestined about it. Or maybe there is.

There are times I just don’t know what to say. I’m the kind of person who talks and talks because uncomfortable silences are too much for me. I always feel the pressure to say something because otherwise the moment becomes violent. But good comfortable silences, those are hard to find. And when there are lots of comfortable silences in a book, there is something outstanding about it. I don’t mean by it that the whole story runs smoothly, just the opposite. Christopher sees Malachi for the first time and he knows it. And the best part, he knows Malachi knows it, too. Christopher feels exposed as an open book but as the most stupid mosquito in the pack, he follows his light even though he fears to die. And I wanted to follow that flame, too. It was hypnotic.

There is so much unsaid between them but at the same time the words could have come amiss. The author knows how to give that brushstroke that really convinces you that that is real love. There are so many moments in which they could have said something but at the same time the non-verbal language was the important part, so I focused so hard on such acts that I became obsessed with every little touch and caress. The author gives so little you only want more and you are never satisfied.

Innocence is kept at bay till one person worships, steals or spoils it. Unfortunately, the right person here doesn’t act fast for either of them. Christopher falls into a self-destruction spiral and Malachi fell a long time ago. Each one of them is a tortured soul who have found exactly what can save them from utter ruin but can’t face it because they don’t feel worthy of the other one. For different reasons. But deep inside, they were innocent once. And even though their hearts have been stepped on, there is still that unique part in them that remains untouched. And that’s what gave me hope.

The story begins in a houseboat and somehow that made me fear. I once visited the Chaleroi Cannal and the Canal du Centre elevators in the Valonia part of Belgium. I don’t know why but I felt so small I was scared. Just the thought of living on a boat and moving the whole time filled me up with a dizzy feeling I didn’t want to swell on. Uncertainty kills me and I’ve always needed limits. Roaming around is not my definition of something stable. Maybe it was that particular meaning a boat holds for me, maybe it was just the sadness that wraps everything like a thick fog, but it touched me deeply. Said boathouse docks at a town which feels as grey and faded as their characters. Suitable enough. A new life although each day felt like a new death.

If you flick through the pages you realize the text is barely there. We are in Christopher’s head the whole time, wandering with him in his rootless existence. Being swept along and passing through life instead of participating in it, you always feel there is not much of a future for him. That he has just given up before ever beginning. That the only person maintaining him above water is his brother Jay. Jay, the person he depends on to go on. At first you think Jay is the one who needs Christopher but in fact Christopher is the one who desperately needs something real to hold on.

It’s undeniable the environment is cold and depressing, in an almost surreal kind of way. It felt like a dream. Everything was a series of unfortunate events without the happy ending at sight. I felt I was drowning more and more with each passing page. Everybody has a past but nobody really cares. I felt it was a fight for survival. The survival of a little of hope, which seemed terribly lacking in their stories. But that didn’t stop me from reading the book. I just needed more. It was a toxic relationship. This is the same feeling [b:This is Not a Love Story|22499313|This is Not a Love Story (Love Story Universe)|Suki Fleet||40332545] awoke in me. It also has some reminiscences from Garrett Leigh and her [b:Heart|23288462|Heart|Garrett Leigh||42845976].

I can't say why but at first I just assimilated we were in the States. Maybe because the environment reminded my of the movie Mud, so it struck as a big surprise when I found out they used pounds instead of dollars. However, it's a good point this story could have been developed anywhere. Universal love stories are like that. Maybe they are not set in pretty places but maybe that's only enhances a beautiful love, like spots of white on a black background.

The weak part is the ending, I didn’t understand it. They have to make ends meet somehow and I understood Malachi could have been a good singer but I don’t get how Christopher could have been one. However, I think a simple existence together (as mechanics or not) would have been more suitable and even more beautiful. Anonymity would have given the cozy and intimate ending they deserve. Far from the madding crowd.


Off-topic: With this book I felt like singing The Origin of Love forever. I believed in that myth as long as I read the book:

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.

That's the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.

It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It's the story of
The origin of love.
That's the origin of love.

My opinion? Read this book. Read this author.