When I saw Madly, Deeply on NetGalley, I didn't know what I was getting into. The cover was lovely, the blurb even more so, and my expectations were spiraling upwards faster than I can scream, "Stop, it could be a TRAP!!!" as lots of books with gorgeous covers and equally arresting blurbs are wont to do. But before I knew it, the green button touted the words PENDING, and my request was sent. Fast forward a few days, and a copy pops up on my dashboard. And because I want to prolong the delicious suspense that is just killing me, I finish off the other new books first. (Yep, selecting which book to read first - and last - is this dramatic for me.) When I finished those, I sprawled on my bed, just because I have had enough of draping myself in my mother's chaise lounge earlier, and read.
And read, and made pitiful moaning sounds read, and made more wounded, dying animal sounds read.
Until it was The End.
Ladies and gents, Madly Deeply, is a short book, but it has also got to be the up there with the most gutting, let-me-splash-some-alcohol-on-your-wounds-and-sucker-punch-said-wounds book I've ever read.
My dear Ms Crouch, do you have poetry book-protein shakes for breakfast? Grilled poetry books for lunch? A light poetry book salad for dinner? No? ARE YOU SURE? Everything in this book is just pure poetry - the kind that is just obviously effortless, and sounds like it just comes naturally to the author. The narrative is lush, evocative, and all sorts of wonderful that it just is very fitting for the novel, which is a derivation of Poe's Annabel Lee.
I LOVED it because it has just the right amount of length to it - effectively without overstretching the story and overdramatizing the plot that some books are wont to do. It's short, but it's incredibly bittersweet because you have these two amazing characters who are so in love with each other and who are just about to start an amazing life together, only to have Fate intervene and crush everyone's dreams.
Madly, Deeply inevitably cuts readers where it hurts the most, but it will slowly soothe you, and at the end of the book, the reader will inevitably subconsciously touch the gash, only to find healed, yet puckered skin.
I cannot recommend Madly, Deeply enough to Poe fans and bittersweet romance aficionados alike.
"'Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all" indeed.