It’s been a little longer than usual since my last book review post. That’s because I started reading a book that I really could not get in to at all. It was to the point where I had to just give up reading it and if you know me, you know that that is unheard of for me so it must’ve been bad. I gave up on that halfway through and quickly picked up the next book on my to-read list, Hungry for Love, which interestingly enough was longer by about 100 pages but took me a fraction of the time to read.
I received the book via Smith Publicity and the author, Maya Sacher, through Net Galley. I got through the book within days and I had very strong feelings about it. Keep reading to find out why!
Hungry for Love is about Elizabeth, a woman in her mid thirties who works as a dentist at her father’s practice. When the novel begins, we learn that Elizabeth’s husband, Jesse, has been in a coma for almost 2 years after an accident. Elizabeth recounts how they met, became friends, and how that friendship turned into love. As she sits by his bedside at the hospital every day she becomes increasingly depressed and isolated from everyone. The only thing that brings her joy is baking, hence the title. On the advice of her therapist, she decides to try to be more social and maybe spend a day or two away from the hospital. Here enters Aiden, a zoo curator that she meets on a random trip to the zoo one day. Elizabeth finds herself caught up in this passionate lustful relationship falling for Aiden’s charm and rugged good looks. It’s an escape from her sadness and reinvigorates her.
Here is where the issues (for me as a reader) began. I understand Elizabeth wanting to move on and I don’t fault her for it. Who knows if her husband will ever wake up – I mean it has been almost 2 years – she’s entitled to a life. However, things move along really quickly with Aiden and they became quite serious without her ever telling him about Jesse! I understand not wanting to rock the boat and being afraid he would leave, but I think there are some things that just need to be revealed/said in a relationship and maybe, just maybe, the fact that you have a husband who is in a coma would qualify!
This isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the synopsis of the book, but of course Jesse wakes up. Now she has to figure out what to do. Does she return to her husband who she had been faithfully waiting for until a few months ago? Does she leave her husband and stay with her new boyfriend who she has fallen for? I appreciate her dilemma and find the situation realistic. But then, Elizabeth thinks, “hmm I don’t know who to pick. I’ll just stay with both of them!”. This makes no sense! And then, to make things even worse Elizabeth gets the bright idea for them all to live together like we’re living in some kind of polygamist society. I get that life’s hard and she doesn’t know what to do. She loves them both and also doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but her whole “I deserve to be happy too” bit gets a little tiresome when you realize that she doesn’t even realize that her “happiness” comes at the expense of others. Life is full of hard choices, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to make a choice at all.
You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out how that all works out and who she ends up with, if she does end up with either of them.
Sacher did a great job writing this story. I may not have liked Elizabeth or felt any sympathy for her, but I did enjoy the writing. The story kept me hooked simply because I wanted to know how it would all turn out even though I didn’t agree with anything Elizabeth did.
The few quotes I did really like from the novel were from the therapist. Maybe because she’s the only sane one in the whole story! Here are two that I liked:
All our lives, we’ve been programmed by fear, so many things terrify us, we’re scared we’re not good enough, that we don’t make enough money, what people think of us, no wonder we’ve forgotten to just live, enjoy ourselves.
The concepts of right and wrong come from the outside. You need to figure out what feels right on the inside, forget about how others may judge your choices, they’re not the ones living your life.
Hungry for Love is a great quick summer read, but be prepared to have some strong reactions to it!
*I received this book complimentary, but all opinions are my own.*