Book Review – Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur
June 14, 2015
Following her award-winning debut novel The Man I Love, author Suanne Laqueur now gives Daisy Bianco a chance to tell her story.
It’s been three years since an egregious error of judgement cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her. Alone and shattered, she attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the shootings at Lancaster, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.
Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the years at Lancaster with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.
In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they evolved without being resolved. Because when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.
To put it mildly, I was THRILLED when Laqueur asked me to read an ARC of her newest book Give Me Your Answer True, a follow-up to The Man I Love. Below are my thoughts on this newest release by one of my new favorite authors:
On the Plus Side:
- Laqueur is one of the most amazing writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I am not exaggerating. It took me a little while longer to read GMYAT than some other novels because I had to keep stopping to copy quotes in my quote notebook – quotes full of beautiful images, raw and real emotions, vivid mental pictures. Her writing is truly exquisite and it is not to be missed! I think I may even do a whole separate post full of quotes from this book!
- Although this novel is a retelling of her previous one, the plot is very different. I never felt as if I was reading the same book again. This follow-up puts such a different spin on events that you may be familiar with, and you will find yourself looking at certain things in a whole new light.
- You will fall even more in love with Daisy, Opie, Lucky, and Will. I loved to see all of these characters grow as the novel progressed. There was no denying the major issues they were facing, and the struggles they went through to heal were very realistic. I enjoyed how their actions and thoughts shifted as their respective recoveries progressed.
- I admire the awareness Laqueur brings to a variety of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, PTSD, cutting, eating disorders) and the process of recovery. She does not sugar coat what happens when suffering from mental illness, nor does she make healing look like a cake walk.
- I loved the backdrop of dancing. It is so not a world I am familiar with, but I found myself very much drawn into the scenes and snapshots of what happens within this world.
On the Minus Side:
- This is not really a minus, but a caution. You need to be very comfortable reading about sex and drug use. Laqueur’s writing is top notch, and the scenes she creates are very vivid. As with the first book, I had to set this one aside for a couple of days because it is so emotionally intense at times. There is a purpose to every scene that Laqueur includes, and I encourage you to keep reading even if you feel uncomfortable at moments.
If you haven’t yet read Laqueur, you need to run out immediately and do so. Her writing will move you like none other – guaranteed!
What did you think of Give Me Your Answer True?