The Lauras by Sara Taylor | Rating: ★★★★☆
A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
The Shore was one of those books that was hit or miss for my personal taste; I often flip flopped in my opinion of its entire premise/prose. What always remained full of praise was Sara Taylor's general tone and understanding of her characters. She has this moving way about her storytelling that will captivate you even if the story isn't your cup of tea by its final pages--The Lauras is just as wonderfully told and far more appealing and satisfying than The Shore.
I think that the first word that comes to mind when I'm to explain the novel is intense. The Lauras is intelligent, a vivid picture painted in words that remain intense as you move forward. One of the most appealing things about this was that it made you feel a great deal in just a few words. A genuine strike of emotion comes hand-in-hand with it and you will find yourself connected pretty quickly. It's the perfect story to curl up with in bed and is a pretty fast read that somehow doesn't lack emotional depth. I think that it should be said, as well, that the prose is so moving you will find yourself reaching for your highlighter or something to mark up your favourite passages with--not unlike Kate Morton's books manage to do for me.
Yes, it's one of those novels. I'm not sure what it is about The Lauras that has stuck around in my head these last few weeks, but it's there and I don't think it's going anywhere for the time being. I'm definitely okay with this and wish, quite often, that it had been published before The Shore.
There is something about this one that is better suited as an introduction to an author because it's just a few notches above what she had already accomplished. Unlike The Shore, there was this sense of steadiness that came with the timeline, the present and backstories. I felt like we had a better footing and narration this time around and am incredibly impressed. What I loved about this book was seeing the mark that other people often leave on our lives; that's all I can say without defining it completely and spoiling the general plots.
I will say: Sara Taylor is onto something when it comes to the exploration of life. I liked that the tone was so full of life--good, bad, in between, past, present, future, etc. Everything was acknowledged in some way or another. Further, it has this element of identity in a character that isn't often properly explored in neither life nor literature and I appreciate this greatly. I'm not over how ordinary yet extraordinary The Lauras is and though it has its flaws, it's certainly one to check out and has all the makings of a one-sitting read.
If you were like me and had lukewarm feelings towards The Shore, The Lauras is going to change an opinion you may have already formed towards Sara Taylor's work. It's smart and bears a great deal of emotions for its readers. I know I grew attached Alex and Ma and everything in between. I'm not sure how to explain the story without sounding off-key and as if I'm ready to explode in joy, but there is an element so warm and moving to The Lauras that you'll find it impossible to put down.