4.5 of 5
Copy provided for an honest review.
Goodreads synopsis (I didn’t rewrite my own because this is perfect):
“When Austen Soren returns home for the summer to the lush beautiful valley of her childhood it’s with the sense that she can be, will be, anything; accepted into the prestigious Writers’ Workshop her life is unfolding just as she planned.
Headstrong and impulsive, Austen’s world is upended the moment she meets Cashel Drai, the enigmatic owner of the storybook estate known throughout the village as The Cherry House. Cashel, devastating and damaged, loves her instantly but is held hostage by his past, falling backwards into its darkness and loss as Austen struggles with the experience of her first great love – at once desperate for him and desperate to be free of their wild longing.
As their relationship reopens the hearts – and wounds – of those closest to them can Austen hold on to the ambitions she has for her own life, is Cashel brave enough to let go of his past, and can they, together, fulfil the destiny that the quiet grave on The Cherry House estate whispered always; that forever is written upon them.”
Where do I even begin!? I really enjoyed this book! It was absolutely breathtaking. There are so many great things. This book has such a wonderfully crafted plot that follows characters, young and old, who are or have experienced love. It also follows how that love is affecting them as they grow and mature as individuals. Each character is learning from love, whether it’s first hand and/or through the guidance of others.
This romance book has many beautifully crafted and rich words/sentences that easily classify it as a “classic” in my eyes. I stopped so many times to just let the words sink in. They were so dark, enlightening, heart wrenching, heartwarming and overall perfect. Here is one of my favorite parts:
“‘Sometimes I felt as though the only relief would be to tear my skin from my bones; to rip at the muscle and the tendons with my hands so that I might tear away my love for her, because it lived in every part of me. If I was bleeding perhaps the exhausting, inexhaustible, love I felt – feel!- for … would rush away with the blood and I would be free. But it was no good because that still left my bones, you see. I love her from the powder in my bones, the way … loves you. I’ve seen it. It is forever. Even when bones break they fuse back together. Even when my bones are dust they will become part of the earth and the earth will suffer with the love for …, the way I do.’” – Chapter Nine (I removed names to keep this spoiler free).
These beautiful words and sentences set a romantic tone that carries throughout out this book. I am still in awe days after finishing it.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this story is the use of the color red. Red symbolizes many things but the first thing that comes to my mind is passion and love. From the very beginning many things are noted as red or “cherry” such as the quilt, front door, cherries, car, clothing and more. Many of these items are in the very beginning, pop up throughout the story and show up at the very end. I like to think it was crafted this way to keep the passion alive through the use of objects as the characters themselves experience the passion first hand. The last thing I would like to point out about the color red is that it is the color of blood and blood and bones are used to express how deep love runs in this novel… I LOVE this use of color symbolism and how it works throughout this story! It adds another layer to enjoy!
Overall this book has struck me as a stunning classic romance. It was very easy to read yet it forced me to slow down and savor each and every word. With how detailed and emotional this book has been, I could easily see this be made into movie! (I could see the movie playing out in my mind.)
If you enjoy romance novels centered around love – what it means to love, what love does to an individual or a couple, the heightened and raw emotions that comes with it – and you enjoy symbolism and wonderfully rich sentences…this is for you!