Every once in awhile, a book comes along that sticks with me. The story and the characters get under my skin, and I can’t seem to let them go. The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry is one of those books.
Spoilers ahead – consider yourself warned!
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right. – Goodreads
Natalie’s young life has been punctuated by visits from her mysterious ‘Grandmother’ – a figure that only she has seen. Her final days of high school are thrown into chaos when Grandmother tells her that she has “3 months to save him.” Save who? And how? These questions plague Natalie as she begins to uncontrollably move forward and back through time, and eventually, into another reality. The questions and uncertainty grow when Natalie meets and falls in love with Beau, a boy going through the same thing.
Ultimately, this story comes down one question – how far would you go to save someone you love? It’s not an easy question, and I found myself continually coming back to it long after I had read the last page. For Natalie, there was no happy answer.
The ending left me with endless questions, which to me is the sign of a great book: What happened to the two realities? Did Natalie’s actions create a third reality? These have been circling through my mind all day, and not having a solid answer is driving me nuts. But at the same time, I’m glad it’s left undefined.
Emily Henry’s prose is beautiful, and will draw you right in. Her description of the time jumping seems so clear – I can picture the ‘image skip’ in my head. The fact that this is her debut novel kind of blows the mind – her first attempt truly is a winner.