A Lesson on Life 


Rating:4 stars

Every family is plagued with some sort of epidemic. Infidelity is the worst of them all. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller  brought out the devastation attached to the word family. The heartbreaks, the ugly parts; the REAL parts lying in plain sight.

This book is about Ingrid and Gil. Student and professor. Lovers. Husband and wife. Mother and father. But in between all that they both were human. There is a point where we think love conquers all. All the rules, all the expectations, the disappointments; there’s a time where we think love completes us. In a way it does, but regrets often come when it’s too late.

The writing style was rather slow. I found myself skimming through a few paragraphs and pages knowing I wouldnt really miss much. The author makes it a point to make their readers visualize. But more than that the author made me experience.

There were points I found it too much to bear that I had to take time to let my heart breathe. It was much too painful. It felt so real because infidelity is real. It happens. Why it does, well I don’t know. I don’t understand it. But as the saying goes:

We are ever striving after what is forbidden, and coveting what is denied us.”

*Spoiler Alert*

What made my stomach churn to the point I felt like throwing up was that Gil did his dirty work right in the house where his family slept just a few steps away. No, actually I can’t decide which is worse: the lack of guilt and even the decency to cover up his tracks, or the dedication on his book. That was the climax for me. My heart literally stopped. I was too caught with the story. I felt Ingrid’s emotions, I felt the grief, the loss, the pain.

But to be honest the book was just unfair. Here was Ingrid not wanting to start a family, not wanting to have kids. Here she was her life ahead of her, and she chooses to give that up. Because she believed that love weighed more than all that. But was it really love? Or simply just attraction that went too far.

I try to understand men and why they cheat. I feel like it’s inevitable. I already expect it coming. There’s a point in relationships, once all the surge of waves have come to an end, when all is calm, then starts the storm. We mistake love for other things, because love takes so many forms in varying levels.

I suppose this books affected me so much because…I know what it feels to be like Flora and Nan. I know what it feels to be in the center. Either you’re blind or you watch it all happen. I was both. I turned a blind eye on things I shouldn’t have knowledge on; pretended I was an innocent child, and yet you can never shield children from reality. You can only do so much for them.

The ending brought mixed emotions. Part of me wants to hate Ingrid for leaving her family with only hope to cling to. Hope is ironic. It makes you strong, it makes you weak. It’s there even when you don’t want it to be.

Overall I recommend this book for people who understand. I don’t recommend it for people who know. Nothing will be resolved after reading this book. Don’t expect to find answers. It’s merely a realization; the truth.



The Irony of Love

Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’m not one for time travel books or sci-fi in general because it tends to be unrealistic, but not this time. Samantha Sotto completely convinced me everything was real. The emotions were so real, so heartfelt. The pain of love was so raw and pierced through the pages of every word she wrote.

The writing style was easy although it was eloquent. Old English tends to be difficult to understand but the writer made the words flow directly to the reader’s heart, surpassing the mind. It’s not every day you come across a book and really think: “Is this real?” I think writers are good at their craft when they convince their readers that their magic trick isn’t a trick but real magic.

Well I’m not going to lie, my name being used and turned into something magical did make me feel warm and finally secure about my unusual name. Indeed an odd name for a girl to have! I’ve always been slightly insecure about my name, for two reasons: 1. Some people find it hard to pronounce, and 2. It’s a boy’s name… But in any case, I thoroughly enjoyed having my name written and used for such a beautiful girl Samantha Sotto describes.

I think anyone can relate to this. Love is universal, love is unconditional and this book teaches you what it means to really love. Love makes you selfish and greedy; it makes you human. But love is never selfish and never finds itself facing a wall. It continues, it carries on, regardless whether or not the person you love is yours. Your love continues, it never fades. It’s painful but that’s when you know it’s real.

The ending, my goodness THE ENDING! It was just completely heartbreaking and yet it shows you what love really means. I honestly don’t usually read romance and while I waited for the publication date of this book, I was really hesitant to read it. For the sole purpose of having the word LOVE part of the title. I instantly recoil. But somehow, Samantha Sotto was just able to capture my interest. Isaac Newton, really? I have read fairytale retellings but this book is just…it’s unexpected. I mean we all grew up groaning at the mention of Isaac Newton and the three laws of motion. And yet here is this book reminding us that Isaac was human and he was very much capable of love –regardless if it was just a story. Sometimes I forget that people are capable of real love that has no boundaries or limitations.

I also can’t believe she lives right here in the Philippines! Wow. Talk about destiny. And yet the best irony in reading Love and Gravity is that I don’t believe in destiny. This book will make you believe even in things that don’t make sense. Because love requires no logic or reason. It only requires a leap of faith.