This novel, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, is the kind of novel I have been looking for.
Following three individuals, Nina, Hector, and Valérie, we are drawn into a world of balls and power and gifted. Gifted as in, they are able to move things with their minds (and the aid of their hands).
Nina is new to town, staying with her cousin and his wife Valérie, she isn’t like the other girls. She grew up in the country, ostracized and un-marriageable due to her telekinetic power, and she enjoys the simple life but has gone to the big city to find a husband. Hopefully. But she hasn’t been interested in any of the boys she has met. She wants a fantasy romance, even though she can’t follow any of the rules. This is the kind of character I enjoy reading about, because the author did a good job of making her real, which the author did an excellent job with all of her characters.
Hector, a man who came from nothing and worked to the top so that he would be worthy of marrying Valérie has only come to the city to see her. Yet, he found Nina. Shall I leave you to figure out the rest? Hector is a reserved man, and an honest one. Other than, you know, that one GIANT lie. But really, he is a good, complex character.
And then there is Valérie. Valérie, who only married Nina’s cousin for his money. Valérie, who resents Nina for how much her cousin loves her and will do anything for her. Valérie, who doesn’t want anyone else to have Hector. And she too changes, though you can decide if it is for better or worse. (Okay, you should be able to guess that one too.)
This isn’t a novel with a huge central thing to fight or concur. This is about people, relationships, and people who ACTUALLY CHANGE AND GROW.
And it is so beautifully written.
I will admit that the title is very much interpretation, as the phrase was mentioned once, maybe twice throughout the whole book. But it is a well chosen title. Valérie and Hector are beautiful people.
So, who would like this? Fans of historic fiction, sweet romance, people with powers, historical urban fantasy, and those who enjoy a well written novel. Oh, and those who enjoy characters who grow and change.
Who won’t? If you want action and adventure, please, keep going. This book is about people, interactions, sharing what you love, and having to grow, in hard ways, into the person you really are.