2019 Aug 25
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself transported back to South Jersey, where things remain largely unchanged from her unhappy childhood. In need of saving herself, she sets out to find and resurrect a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a horrific scandal. Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances in this bid for renewed hope in the human race? This is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.
Penned by Best Selling Author of The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick’s Love May Fail is an endearing take on what it means to be human. The plot follows Portia Kane as her entire life unravels and she decides to travel back to her hometown to turn her life around. Told from 4 perspectives- the most important being Portia’s, Mr. Vernon’s, and then Vernon’s estranged mother and finally Chuck Bass’ (Portia’s love interest)- all Quick’s characters are authentic and somewhat lovable, even though their flaws can at times be frustrating and feel too harped upon.
The best way to describe how touching this novel can be is to give you an excerpt of a small message the author enters at the beginning of the novel- “Portia Kane, Official Member of the Human Race! This card entitles you to ugliness and beauty, heartaches and joy- the great things and the lows of existence- and everything in-between. It also guarantees you the right to strive, to reach, to dream and to become the very person you know (deep down) you are meant to be. So make daring choices, work hard, enjoy the ride and remember- you become exactly whomever you choose to be.”
The title Love May Fail is an apt name filled with optimism, despite the fact that the story begins with a ruined marriage. Quick covers a variety of heavy topics including OCD, anxiety, depression and addiction through his characters but the dark comedy in the dialogue and Portia’s ability to talk herself into and out of any situation creates the right balance between quirkily entertaining and eye-opening for readers.