The Love of My Life, by Rosie Walsh was my book club’s April choice. It was also a Good Morning America Book Club pick.
Rosie Walsh is a New York Times bestselling author. Her other book is Ghosted.
The Love of My Life is a mystery-filled story of love, lies, and forgiveness. This book poses the question – Is it possible to love someone and not really know who they are?
The plot centers around Emma. She is an intertidal ecologist. Her adoring husband is Leo, an obituary writer.
Because of Emma’s tv star status, Leo is tasked with writing a stock obituary for her. He feels it is his place as he knows her best.
However, as the story unfolds and you turn the pages, we find out that almost everything Leo thinks he knows about his wife is a lie.
Leo tells us that “she studies the places and creatures that are submerged at high tide and exposed at low.”
He tells us how she adores their young daughter, Ruby, and their rescue dog named John Keats; that she’s also a former star of a BBC series on marine wildlife and a recent cancer survivor. Leo says,
“I think it was Kennedy who said we are tied to the ocean — that when we return to it, for sport or leisure or some such, we are returning to the place from whence we came. That’s how I feel about us. To be near to my wife, to Emma, is to return to source.
“So when I learn, in the days following this morning — this innocent, commonplace morning, with dogs and frogs and coffee … — that I know nothing of this woman, it will break me.”
This is a story told in alternating narratives with short chapters and constantly changing viewpoints and flashbacks.
There are questions of trust, betrayal, mental illness, trauma, and is it ever acceptable to hold things back from one’s spouse.
One of my favorite quotes from the book “I don’t know anything, other than that it’s only when something’s damaged beyond repair that we realize how beautiful it was.”