Apr 3, 2012

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw review

Anxious Hearts cover“Evangeline,” he repeated, calling at a whisper. “Evangeline.” He was not calling that she may hear, he was calling that somehow her soul might know that he was devoted entirely to her, only to her. “Evangeline, I will find you.”

Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside Maine town, unknowingly tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who once lived in the idyllic wooded village of Acadia more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were be wed, their village was attacked and the two were separated. And now in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.

A dreamlike, loose retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous love poem “Evangeline,” Anxious Hearts tells an epic tale of unrequited love and the hope that true love can be reunited.

From Goodreads

This book is so much more than that description can convey. I must admit that I blindly stumbled into this one & I kind of wish I had done my homework. In a way I wish I had read Longfellow's poem before reading this book & in a way I'm glad I didn't. By not reading the poem I was able to appreciate the book for what it was & how it was created. Tucker Shaw has done a masterful job weaving the two tales of his lovers
(both past & present) in a way that is both believable & visceral. Mesmerized by the poetry of this book (which isn't written in poetic format) I flew through it in a few short hours & was ready to devour it again once I had completed the first reading.

While I think reading the original work may have helped me better understand the overall experience of the book, I found experiencing the author's interpretation just as satisfying. Eva & Gabe (our present day lovers) aren't your average teens. They've seen heartache & misery that has touched them deeply. Only they can truly understand the others' pain to the point that they run together away from those who would pity them. Evangeline & Gabriel are the epitome of love. Their joy was ready to reach heights that no one around them had witnessed when they were dealt the blow of being torn apart. Their separation & struggle to return to one another is what overlaps their story with that of the present day. Both couples are fighting a losing battle with no care for the outcome, only the solace they seek to bring to themselves & their lover.

Such a deep, moving book Anxious Hearts is not one to be missed. You won't regret living this love story with characters you will hate to see go.

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