Two things prompted me to pick up Emily Henry’s The Love that Split the World. First, I heard that Lionsgate had picked up the film rights. Yes, I know that not every book optioned for film is a good book, but it piqued my curiosity, okay? Secondly, that cover. I don’t judge books by their cover, but I will pick up a book because of a beautiful one.
Once I was finished, I tweeted that I’d only stopped reading to sleep and switch my laundry around. That wasn’t entirely true; I also fixed food for myself and my offspring. Aside from that nonsense, I was reading. It was definitely hard to put down. The mystery begins to build immediately, and along the way you suspect things and then they’re wrong, then you suspect things and you might be right–but wait! What about that thing that happened a few chapters ago? How will that work out? Et cetera.
It’s hard to talk too much about the plot without giving things away, and this book is probably best read knowing very little. Natalie is visited for years by a “spirit” she calls Grandmother. Grandmother tells Natalie story after story: Native American folklore and Bible stories, and encourages Natalie to remember them. One night, as Natalie is preparing to graduate from high school, Grandmother visits again and tells her, “Three months to save him, Natalie.” Grandmother stresses the importance of the stories, but Nat doesn’t know who to save, or how, or even why, and she’s not sure she’ll ever see Grandmother again. Immediately after, she meets Beau, a student at her high school–or is he?–and she starts to see “wrong things”; the places she’s known all her life seem to have more than one version.
As the explanation for what was happening started to unfold, I’ll admit it was hard at times to keep up. I don’t read books with magical/fantastical elements to them very often, so that might be why these parts slowed me down. They didn’t affect how I felt about the story, though. I was left guessing until the conclusion, although I had a lot of feelings about how it all would shake out. In the end, his book lived up to its intriguing cover, and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Emily’s next book.