Sometimes what one needs is a “comfort read,” a book that is easy to read and in which the main character (or characters) experiences a happy ending that warms your toes. Love Remains was one such book for me this past week.
As I mentioned here, life’s been interesting lately. You could call it a mid-life crisis…combined with parenting a teenager with ADD, dyscalculia, and vestibular neuritis with migraines…combined with helping a husband through his midlife crisis. No pity party or anything. We’re dealing with it. I just felt like I needed an easy comfort read by an author who I already knew and loved. Sarah Eden’s Love Remains fit that bill perfectly, not only because I’d read five of her other books before, but also because I’ve met her at my favorite writer’s conference a couple of times and she’s just a really nice, talented, funny person.
What Love Remains is About
So, what is Love Remains about? It’s the story of Cecily Attwater, a young woman in the American West in the early 1800s in the fictional town of Hope Springs, Wyoming. She gets hired as a tutor to a newly-blind Finbarr O’Connor, in part because she’s almost blind herself and supports herself by teaching the blind how to function, and by translating print books into braille. It’s also the story of Tavish O’Connor, a character from the previous books in the Longing for Home trilogy who (spoiler alert for those previous books) ended up being the odd man out at the end of them (end spoiler alert). It’s Tavish that hires Cecily to teach his younger brother Finbarr, who was (another spoiler alert from the previous book) blinded in a barn fire at the end of book 2 (end spoiler alert).
Cecily is fiercely independent because she’s had to be to survive, Tavish has sworn off women after two previous heartbreaks, and Finbarr is very depressed about being blind and reluctant to learn the skills he needs to be happy. Plus, he’s a teenager, and feels like his life has ended. To make matters worse, she’s the only British person amongst a clan of Irish, at a time when there is still a lot of bad blood between the two nationalities
Why You Should Read This Book
Love Remains is, first and foremost, a romance, an unlikely one that develops on the rocky ground of Cecily and Tavish’s different personalities and circumstances, with a few weedy misunderstandings. But more than that, it’s a book about love in general, and how it “doesn’t abandon. It doesn’t give up. Even when everything else falls apart, love remains.” Tavish loves his younger brother Finbarr, and is heartbroken watching him suffer. He wants to protect him, so Cecily’s tactics of making him try to do things on his own right off the bat at first seem cruel to him. Much tension develops between Tavish and Cecily because of that. But he doesn’t know the suffering she’s been through, how close she is to falling apart herself, and how much she needs to be loved, to belong somewhere, even if she won’t admit it.
Tavish’s family doesn’t like Cecily either, both because of her perceived “prickliness” and her being British. They don’t want Tavish to be hurt again. But Eden develops a romance between the two that takes into account the family’s feelings and ameliorates them. It’s not “insta-love,” nor does it develop in a vacuum. Plus, both Cecily and Tavish are easy to root for.