Bill Smoot has crafted a debut novel that examines the choices that make up a life. His compelling and intimate story focused on main character Michael and his wife. Though there are philosophical musings focused on life and relationships that story is also an engrossing examination of a couple in love. Love: A Story is a read that shows the ups and downs of love that happen through the course of a relationship.
Our story begins with forty year-old prep school teacher Michael who lives in Berkeley. On his drive home he sees a baby strolling rolling toward him and as he slams on his brakes and rushes to catch the stroller the moment becomes symbolic for him as his wife is about to become pregnant and he wants to be a father more than anything else. We then jump back to four years previously when Michael met his wife, who is in the chemistry Ph.D. program at Berkeley. When they fall and love and marry the age and cultural difference are there, but everyone seems to agree that they can make this work. Leanna, his wife, is still working to heal old wounds from childhood as an immigrant in America. Readers are able to watch this relationship develop and see the struggle of wondering if they can keep their less than perfect union together.
Smoot writes in a way that allows the reader to connect deeply with Michael as the story evolves between the core couple. His middle American sensibility reflects in his understanding of the world at large, which we see is often at odds with his younger wife who has come from a much different background. They do love each other and Michael adores his wife. There are a number of moments where he discusses her physical beauty and how captivated he is by her. As the two are pushed to cope with scary moments in life, they also maintain their love for each other in some way. The story does show that even though a relationship may shift and change that you may still find yourself caring about a person. It is not your typical romantic read and makes for a curious work that will definitely keep you wondering about the characters. You can get your copy of Love: A Story today.