An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, Book 1)
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A single, drunken misunderstanding is all it took for Javier Landes to be thrown out of his home at the age of seventeen. His keen survival instincts and power of imagination guide him to a career as one of Manhattan’s top-paid escorts. Shrewd and street-smart, Jav has no interest or faith in love, and familial loyalty is a thing of the past until he is named guardian for an unknown nephew in an upstate town. Reunited with his late sister’s son, Jav is not only forced to confront the long-buried pain of his childhood, but he comes face-to-face with a fascinating couple he’s met before: Alex Penda and Valerie Lark.
Val and Alex evolved from childhood friends to casual lovers and finally to husband and wife. Along the way, each crossed secret paths with Javier Landes, walking away slightly changed. Now in their forties, their marriage is fiercely passionate and unshakeably devoted. But when Jav reappears in their town, a rekindled attraction causes an unexpected reaction, and nothing in their shared life can be the same.
Winner of the Grand Prize in the 2017 Writer’s Digest Awards, An Exaltation of Larks will take you across fifteen years and two continents, exploring both the business of sex and the price of love.
6 stars. Easily.
I became a Suanne Laqueur fan after reading (and subsequently becoming obsessed with) The Fish Tales. From the blurb, I knew this book would take me on a very different journey, and that made me a little nervous. I was scared to leave the books I loved so much to take a chance on something new. Something I wasn't sure would measure up. After only one chapter, I knew I had nothing to fear. An Exaltation of Larks is Laqueur's signature style of writing. It is everything I loved about The Fish Tales and so much more. I wouldn't call it an epic "romance" like The Fish Tales, but it is epic. And it is romantic. And at its core, it's about love, but it's also about family and how those ties that bind grab hold of our three MCs and refuse to let go.
From the blurb:
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
Their story is captivating, sometimes heartbreaking, and always real. Their relationships are enviable (and at times, smoking hot) and provide a high dose of romance that kept me swooning.
But, what took Larks straight to six stars for me wasn’t the romance or even the brilliant writing. It was the feelings it evoked in me from the very first page. Filled with beautiful highs and heartbreaking lows, it captivated me. It also disturbed me, charmed me, broke and fixed me. It exalted me.
I’ve come to the conclusion that reading a Suanne Laqueur book is, and will always be, an involved, emotional experience. It’s not a simple pastime. If you pick up one of her books, be prepared to feel everything.
Her ability to tell a story is genius. Her writing is poetic. Words spill onto her pages in sentences that make my heart clench and swell, and my eyes water.
I loved The Fish Tales. I miss The Fish Tales. But a few chapters into Larks, and I thought, Well, here you are.
Here I am, it whispered back.
Deserves More Than 5 Stars
I am so thankful that this book was brought to my attention. It is definitely my favorite read of 2016 and the best I've read in a long time (that's saying something because I read a lot). I loved everything about it. I had many smiles and tears along the way. My heart squeezed and soared.
The story follows main characters and the people in their lives for several decades, from childhood to middle age. It's a tale of connected families. Death, love, tragedy, war, hope, lust, friendship, parenthood, PTSD, prejudice, pain, culture, family, loss, happiness, sexuality, marriage...basically every human emotion and state of being are covered. The story is told from several points of view, two being an American refugee from Chile who lost most of his family and a Dominican American who was disowned by his family. The cast is from all walks of life, ages, races, etc. The storyline was completely original for me. It's a novel about living and all the ups and downs and snapshot moments and bigger pictures. Issues don't always tie up neatly or quickly. Just like reality sometimes the tone is heartbreaking, bittersweet, beautiful or magnificent.
I'm still so deep in the feels that I can't get it out of my head. This author truly has a gift. There are a lot of good books out there, but finding something that touches me on this level is a rare unicorn. Bravo!
I loved this book! Such an emotional roller coaster but a great one! I read this almost 500 page book in four days because I never wanted to put it down. The characters will stick with me for a long time.
- Category: Literary
- Published: Nov 22, 2016
- Publisher: Suanne Laqueur
- Seller: Smashwords, Inc.
- Print Length: 595 Pages
- Language: English