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Alone With You in the Ether: A love story like no other and a Heat Magazine Book of the Week

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Art is loss,’ she muses, ‘ it’s the fleeting breath of a foregone moment, the intimacy of things undone, the summer season that passes. I love the way it spirals through the stratosphere or seems to be tumbling out of control or even trails off mid-thought because it so lucidly captures untethered emotions (and intrusive thoughts, which are constantly present in this book). The craziest part about this story--through Olivia Blake's words, we ride all the rollercoaster of emotions Regan encounters. the narrative definitely gives off the vibe that its trying too hard, not to mention how inconsistent it is in a few different ways. but unless you can understand having an issue, a permanent, unrelenting and innate part of your brain, ruin so many parts of your life, yet you still feel like you need it, like you’re not whole without it, like there’s no point without it, please don’t criticize it.

Le Guin, ‘ it has to be made,��� and through these trials will Aldo and Regan discover a way to make lasting love or will they burn up in each other’s atmosphere? it just ended with more pretty, empty prose wrapped around a barely formed concept of time travel, multiverses and soulmates who are not really that. She works at a Museum, mostly as a guide, her parents are absent as hell, her mom-destructive and cutting, and her sister, too perfect for words. A glimpse into a joining of hearts and minds as Aldo and Charlotte meet and fall ever deeper into love.

Regan struggles to define herself for herself and even many of the bad-faith representations of her she rages against are mostly invented in her mind (Blake has a brilliant moment of narrative crafting when we discover the argument between Regan and her mother is all staged in her head though proceed to assume her fictionalized words are the truth of how she feels about Aldo and Regan). I’m not one usually for a romance novel, but this feels rather different than what one would expect. More often, her works revolve around our collective experience of what it means to be human (or not), and the endlessly interesting complexities of life and love. I would have enjoyed it if Blake continued this style more through the book as I missed it, but once the characters are established it instead turns more inward as they attempt to have more of a harness on their own narratives.

It is certainly a literary work, and all the heady topics of time theory and reflections and analysis of art are handled in accessible yet ponderous ways that are folded productively into the larger themes of the book. how the characters were viewed in an omniscient way; all their cracks and flaws laid out for us to comprehend. Their connection is superficial and deeply obsessive (they both don’t have a single friend and barely reach out to their family because they are all consumed by each other), and it concerns me that their ending connection feels like a triumph when they are not in a good place to be in a relationship. the book has six parts, and each part had it’s own voice and pacing that distinguished itself from the rest. Regan and Aldo fall into something far beyond existential, beyond the quantum physics Aldo obsesses over.Olivie lives in Los Angeles with her husband and new baby, where she is generally tolerated by her rescue pit bull. What begins as romantic starts to look like a mental health spiral, and what comes easily at first is now fraught with fear and uncertainty, especially in Regan. Interactions that seem so small and minute between them felt so intimate and so tender that my heart ached in the best way. Regan did not enjoy honesty, she hated it, was repulsed by it and by her own truths especially,’ and the way the readers perceptions on Regan morph over the course of the book—and with new revelations on her life—emphasizes the way a person seems always in flux.

She chases highs, she is assailed by intrusive thoughts (some violent), she is her own worst enemy and both she and Aldo fear she is using their relationship as a fix instead of truly working on herself. The prose is pretty but tangential, half the time it feels like it leaves off in the middle of a thought and while I'm mentally trying to fill in the blanks, I've lost all feeling for the story and characters. i will cherish this book with every fiber of my being for the rest of my life and i want it engraved upon my heart. i found myself looking forward to hearing their thoughts on different theories and ideas and learning something new.Perhaps the easiest to love character is Masso, Aldo’s charming, well-meaning father—a sharp juxtaposition from Regan’s mother who we see as highly judgemental through Regan’s perceptions—though even he warns Aldo that Regan is the type to burn someone up.

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