"I guess I am a person who loves love or loves to be in love."

Everyone Paul Reynolds loves leaves him, intentionally or otherwise. He’s orphaned as a teenager. His freshman year of college finds him alcoholic, insecure, and unmotivated to plan his future. His sexy, vivacious fellow student Lena changes that when she introduces him to Lisa, her opinionated little sister. Their unlikely but passionate marriage ends when she dies. Devastated and adrift again, Paul takes in Rommel, a client of Lena’s attorney husband, a witness in a murder trial. Paul falls in love with the young gang member. He doesn’t expect Rommel to end the relationship. Newly employed as a flooring salesman, Paul takes comfort in his boss’ supportive family. He settles into a companionable, if boring, marriage to the old man’s middle-aged daughter. He finds excitement in a gay affair until the birth of a child changes his priorities. When yet another loss leaves him with a father’s ultimate grief, who will be there to heal Paul’s soul?

Poignant loneliness is the only constant that runs through this short novel. Paul’s realization that loneliness is universal makes him a sympathetic and relatable character. His journey from resentment of any loss to acceptance of its inevitability reflects a human path to maturity. The author demonstrates how one person can help another, even amid one’s own sorrow. Strong, free-thinking female characters support men in moments of weakness. The definitions and compositions of love and family change throughout the book as they often do in reality. Abrupt deaths or departures of characters mirror the brevity of life. Frequent descriptions of sexual acts and organs may deter sensitive readers. Still, the book is a fascinating exploration of love in all its forms and with all its intricacies.

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