Title: The Love That Split the World
By: Emily Henry
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Pages: 390 (Hardcover)
Source: Purchased a signed copy at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry is a web of intrigue, love, and sacrifice. The novel is beautifully written, and the Native American re-tellings and creation stories scattered throughout the chapters add a touch of preternaturalism, diversity, and nostalgia. Henry has created an intricate novel by intertwining folklore, time travel, contemporary elements, and psychological spiritualism. When all of these elements are molded together, Henry’s characters come to life on the page and the plot fantastically transforms into a meshing of fantasy and reality.
Natalie and Beau, the major characters, both deal with high school problems: competitive grades, getting into college, participating in sports/school functions, breakups, and self-discovery and self-identity. Their love is never forced, and overall it’s purely spellbinding and heart-pounding. They both hold secrets, and luckily they are able to share a common secret involving their hometown of Union, Kentucky.
The whole book made me feel like I was cocooned in a glow of magic with intense, on-the-edge feelings. The Love That Split the World wraps you in a world of two extraordinary characters that have the ability to flip the world upside down and make the impossible work. When you go to read this book, prepare yourself for comforting stories told by a character named Grandmother and plot twists that will make your head spin (in a good way).
This is a story that will definitely make a reader contemplate identity. More importantly, it makes you think about your own life choices and what paths those choices can lead to.
RANTS: I hate this unsettling feeling, but my mind is still reeling and contemplating that ending. Who needs more Beau? I DO, I DO!
RAVES: The Love That Split the World is so well-paced and every plot twist is articulated so well that by the end of the novel, I felt like I was jerked awake from an obscure fairy tale dream. I still can’t shake this dazed, but poignant feeling that the book left me in. Also, I loved that the book took place in the Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati tri-state area; it was fun to read a book based in my home state/area.
NOTE: All statements and opinions are mine.