Select one of the keywords
On A Night Like This    by Ellen Sussman order for
On A Night Like This
by Ellen Sussman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Liz Cooper

Twenty-five years before, Luke Bellingham and Blair Clemens went to high school together. Back then, they had nothing in common: he was the handsome golden-boy and she was the odd hippie-chick. Now, they're both deeply wounded. Blair's pain is physical: she's dying of cancer. Terrified of leaving behind her sixteen-year-old daughter Amanda, Blair wants to spend the last few months of her life working, and spending time with her beloved daughter.

Luke's pain is deeply emotional. His wife walked out on him without a word of explanation, leaving him heartbroken. Now he's desperately searching for her, and for the answers only she can provide. Luke and Blair find comfort in each other's arms, but can they deal with their growing feelings, knowing that Blair's life is quickly coming to an end? 'On a night like this, I could fall in love', Luke tells Blair when they first meet. Shocked by her own attraction to him, she blurts out, 'Don't bother. I'm dying.' This kind of dialogue, well written and astonishingly intimate, is typical of Ellen Sussman's debut novel.

An emotional story, written in a hopeful and warm tone, On A Night Like This reminds us that there is always the possibility of love and redemption, even when we least expect it. Sussman's characters are engaging, believable, and complex. In particular, Amanda's characterization is beautifully crafted, as her reactions to her mother's illness are heartfelt and realistic. Her jealousy of Blair's relationship with Luke, her despair, and her love for her mother are obvious throughout the novel.

Though at times choices seem much too easy for the characters to make, and the prose is a little sparse for such a complex topic, this is a delightful love story, with characters you'll root for and cry with.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews