“We’re so alike, you and I. It’s no wonder we kept finding each other.”
September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.
September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he’s long suppressed.
Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11’s, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.
“Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn’t yours.”
Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur’s fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love’s downfall can turn to exaltation.
There are absolutely no words for how much I loved An Exaltation of Larks. As I read, this book slowly wrapped around me, getting such a hold on me and making me so emotional that I just couldn’t deny that this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I remember I said the same about The Man I Love and I don’t think you can really compare these books, but I must admit that An Exaltation of Larks was even better. This story, these characters, the writing… it all left me speechless and in such awe.
It’s hard to describe what this book is about because I have so many thoughts and feelings about it and I want to keep it as spoiler free as possible because you just have to read it for yourself to really experience this incredible story.
The characters were so special to me. Jav, Val, Alex and every other character… they were definitely not perfect but that made me love them all even more. They all touched me so much, they made me angry at times and they made me cry. And I loved how they kept finding each other.
Some scenes were a little hard to read, especially on both September 11th dates taking place in the book, but I thought that this only made the story more powerful. And then there’s the prose, which was so very beautiful. This made me fall more in love with the story.
If I could recommend only one book right now above all other I would absolutely recommend An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur.
Suanne Laqueur’s first novel, The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Its other 2015 accolades include a gold medal for Best Debut Author from Feathered Quill Book Awards and being named a finalist with the Kindle Book Awards.
Suanne graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two chil-dren. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010 and now blogs at suannelaqueurwrites.com