Lately, I have been obsessed with books published by Europa editions. I love the way they look, feel, and the tend to be books of which I have never heard (my English teachers just stopped me from ending that sentence in a preposition).So, when I walk around book stores one of my triggers is picking up books published by this group. When I picked up Seth Greenland's novel I first loved the title --- I Regret Everything : A Love Story. I mean, come on, how great is that title! Then I saw that Mr. Greenland was writer-producer for Big Love on HBO which is a show I was addicted to and watched religiously. Therefore, into the shopping bag it went.
This is an odd ball love story between Jeremy, an estate's attorney during the day - secret poet at night, and Spaulding, a 19 year old college student who is recovering from personal issues of her own and aspiring to be a poet herself. The set up is that the meet because Spaulding is the daughter of one of the partners in Jeremy's law firm and that she has figured out that he is also the poet Jinx Bell. Their relationship has the common issues of age, dating a bosses daughter, and the psychological issues with which Spaulding is dealing. Life takes a turn when Jeremy gets diagnosed with cancer, and he starts to finally live life.
I am not going to repeat the entire plot, I want you to get taken in by the journey of these two. However, I am going to say that this book is a general reminder that love finds people at the worst moments sometimes and that people do not get to choose who they get to love. There was an authenticity in their relationship for me. I felt the honest trepidation that Jeremy felt as he fell in love, and also the subtle obsession she feels for this man.
Near the end of the novel Spaulding writes a poem for Jeremy. And she put in this little section:
"For language J.B. held dominate affection.
He believed it must be what we most treasure.
The power, he said, to effect deepest connection."
With these three lines Mr. Greenland summed up what I feel a lot of readers, and I would assume a lot of writers, feel about words and the power they have to affect us. I really liked this book. I was able to find another novel by the author at The Last Bookstore in LA a few weeks ago, and will look for his others as well. I think that people who enjoy novels about people and feelings will really like what this book has to say. I have thought of Spaulding a few times since closing the pages, and wondered what she is doing. I think that is the best praise I can give this book.