Love May Fail Review
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Somewhere in your past, there’s probably a teacher who truly made a difference—who helped you figure out who you were and who you wanted to become. But have you ever gone back to express your gratitude? In Matthew Quirk’s Love May Fail, one woman sets out to reconnect with a beloved teacher, only to find that now he’s the one in need of help.

The story introduces Portia Kane at the worst possible time: as she’s sitting in her bedroom closet, waiting to catch her lying, cheating husband in the act. Once she confronts him—choosing, at the last minute, not to shoot him with his own gun—she storms out of their home in Florida and catches the first flight home to New Jersey. As she attempts to get her life back together, she recalls the one good man from her past: her former English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who inspired her and gave her hope. And when she discovers that he left town under difficult circumstances, she makes it her mission find him—and to give him the same hope that he once gave her.

Love May Fail is a quirky but often bittersweet novel about three people in various stages of re-finding their way: Nate Vernon, the former teacher who’s lost his faith, his hope, and even his will to live, Portia, the former trophy wife who’s determined to save herself by saving her English teacher, and Chuck Bass, the former addict who gets a second chance at happiness and love while supporting Portia in her quest. Throw in some lively old nuns and a metal-loving little boy, and you’ve got an amusingly quirky band of misfit characters. Each one has a story that’s messy and complicated and sometimes painful, too—yet they come together to show that hope can come in strange forms and show up when and where you least expect it.

The novel meanders in all kinds of different directions as it shifts from one narrator to another—and, admittedly, some parts are stronger than others. Chuck’s section, for instance, seems to go off on a lengthy tangent—because while his story is connected to the others, it seems only distantly related. It doesn’t have the same delightfully dark sense of humor as the other parts, either. But it’s still a part of the big picture. And when the stories all meet up in the end, they tell a clever tale of cause and effect—of tragedies, trials, and coincidences that shake up our lives and shape whom we become.

Irreverently eccentric yet heartfelt, too, Love May Fail brings a bunch of honestly unsettled characters together for a story about losing your way...and finding it back. It’s a charming read that might just inspire you to track down the teachers who helped to shape your own story.

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