The Opposite of Love

I just finished The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum–finally.

I stopped reading during November for NaNoWriMo but on December 1st I went right back to the story which so patiently sat on my bedside table waiting for me.

It’s an incredible story. I cried and laughed and was reminded of how lucky I am in life, in family and in love.

I first heard about Julie Buxbaum and her debut novel from an interview on Writer Unboxed. Read her interview here. After being advised to read debut novels to see what publishers were currently buying I decided to check it out- not totally sold though. I picked the book up at Barnes and Noble and flipped through it not sure I wanted to spend $15.00 (It was full price, no discount sticker 🙂  ). Once I read the prologue I couldn’t put it down. I, unlike most people like prologues, I think it’s the best way to know a novel before you read it. First lines matter little to me, I always read the prologue! In The Opposite of Love the prologue is a letter to Emily’s unborn child (Emily is the protagonist) and it is so touching and so real I had to buy it.

This novel will invoke every human emotion at some point, anger, hurt, embarrassment, sadness, loss and friendship. It’s tender and heartbreaking and engrossing…and all around honest. I can relate to Emily more than I wanted to admit. I think everyone can relate to self-destruction to some extent. It also forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my relationships and more importantly my relationship with my parents. It’s a good reminder to not take people or time for granted.

If you’re looking for something to read that’s thought provoking and honest I highly suggest you pick this one up.

Here is the blurb on the back of the book.

When successful twenty-nine year old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is on the verge of proposing, she can’t explain to even her closest friends why she did it. Somewhere beneath her sense of fun, her bravado and her independent exterior, Emily knows that her breakup with Andrew has less to do with him and more to do with…her. “You’re your own worst enemy,” her best friend Jess tells her. “It’s like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart.”

As the holiday season looms, and Emily contemplates whether she made a huge mistake, the rest of her world begins to unravel: She is staffed on a multimillion-dollar lawsuit where she must defend the very values she detests by a boss who can’t keep his hands to himself; her Grandpa Jack, a charming, feisty octogenarian and the person she cares most about in the world, is losing it, while her emotionally distant father has left her to cope with this alone; and underneath it all, fading memories of her deceased mother continue to remind her that love doesn’t last forever.


10 thoughts on “The Opposite of Love

  • I read the interview, which definitely piqued my interest.

    I’m concerned about honesty in my own writing. I feel like I’ve got my guard up all the time and I don’t quite get to the heart of things. Probably reading some books where the authors do would be good for me, so this one is on my list….. Thanks.

    • Emily’s relationship with her father was very real to me. I think most adults have trouble openly communicating with their parents, especially on the hard subjects. I know I do. It’s easier to just suck it up and avoid the fight. ‘Pick your battles’ usually turns into ‘avoid the battle’, of you know what I mean.

      • I can so relate. On one side of my family it’s like walking on egg shells. Relationships are strained, tongues are often bitten. But on the other side love flows freely. Life has a way of working these things out or at least providing balance. I posted a little extra something today – it is sort of on the same page – in prose.

  • I’ve made a note to get my hands on this book. It sounds like a good one.

    Presently, I’m rereading JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte. My niece was required to read it for a class she’s taking, that inspired me to return to that classic novel.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE.

    • I love Jane Eyre, you make me want to go back and revisit it. My stack of reading material is so high I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to reread anything.

  • So many good books – So little time. I started reading The Choice, by Nicholas Sparks today. You recommended it before NaNoWriMo and I promised myself I would begin reading it in December. Now I have yet another to add to my list. This one also sounds like a winner.

    • The only reason to read The Choice is to cry. It’s pretty light reading in the beginning, almost boring, but when you get towards the end it will rip your heart out. At least it did mine–so much that I never want to read Sparks again. The Opposite of Love will make you cry too but not in the same way, it’s more about self discovery.

  • Sounds great. Adding that one to my list.

  • Dayner
    I read the back of the book – and one thing that piqued my interest is the quote: “It’s like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart.” I hate to say how much that reminds me of myself….

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