“I swear. Give me one more chance and I will make the most of it.”
Ex-hustler Javier Landes is asking for his third chance at love. The third time proves to be the charm when he meets a Manhattan art therapist named Steffen Finch. What starts as casual and curious deepens into a passionate, soulful relationship—everything Jav has ever wanted, and everything he fears losing.
Stef’s business card reads Curator & Sailor. His creativity and insightful nature have made him into a talented therapist, the one to call for tough cases. His professional success can’t conceal a deep need to connect with someone, but Javier Landes is the last person Stef expected.
Geronimo "Geno" Caan is Stef's most challenging case. To cope with his ordeal, he's allowed an alter-ego called Mos to make decisions, and now lives a double life within a web of lies. Under Stef’s navigation, Geno uses art to express what Mos forbids to be spoken aloud. But as Geno’s attachment to Stef gradually extends to Jav, the boundaries between professional and personal begin to blur.
Over the course of a year, Jav, Stef and Geno form an unexpected and unconventional triangle, revealing how men make love in times of war and how love is a great wisdom made up of small understandings. The long-awaited second book of the Venery series, A Charm of Finches is an epic tale of survival and secrets guaranteed to make you think and feel and remember.
Christelle' rating :
**5 +++ Flowers**
A roller coaster of emotions that deeply resonated for me : this very-well written and evocative life and romance story stirred so many feelings that it will stay in my mind for quite a long time. Suanne Laqueur is a VERY talented writer !
It might not strictly be a standalone and I advise to read An Exaltation of Larks before to get some insight of the characters (it’s also a beautiful life story including the journey of Jav who plays a huge part in this installment).
Warnings : there are some topics that can be triggers : abduction and gang-rape, child abuse, atrocities perpetrated during WWII and in the concentration camps. This is NOT a piling of dire experiences for the sake of it, was never graphic, but evocative enough to be unsettling.
This is a mix of a romance between Jav and Stef and a life story about mainly Geno, a young man whose life changed in a dramatic and heart-breaking way and is on a difficult path to build the rest of his life – and also other characters such as Max, a six-year old abused child or Micah, a survivor of the concentration camps. Their paths cross briefly or lead to a connection, just like it happens in life.
All the characters are important and I cherished all of them. But Geno… No words to express how I was moved by this character.
Just like "An Exaltation of Lark", the writing is superb, the prose beautiful, even better imo here. The characters are so well fleshed out that they feel real and I deeply related to the sense of loneliness, of mistrust, of low self-esteem, of rage, of fear,…pouring all over the place.
It was a very reflective read, not depressing, but a bit dark, with some oppressing and suffocative moments.
Maybe some other readers won’t share my feelings about this book, nor experience the same level of immersion, because it’s very personal. But for sure, this reading left a HUGE impact on me.
“I want to go home so bad. But I can’t get there. Because nobody’s there. Nobody’s left. The road keeps going on and on and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know who’s going to love me.”
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