I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story by Theodora Goss
Published by Quirk Books on January 17th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Source: the Publisher
One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.
When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .
The Thorn and the Blossom is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.
‘Have patience, love, and we shall meet again
As surely as wild roses have their thorns
For weary years eventually pass.’
The ‘Thorn and the Blossom’ is quite literally a “two-sided love story” about Brendan Thorne and Evelyn Morgan. Intertwined with their love story is the tale of Elowen, queen of Cornwall and Gawan and their own timeless love story. Brendan and Evelyn first meet when she walks into Brendan’s family bookstore in Cornwall. After introducing himself and finding out she’s from America and will only be in town for a week he offers to show her around town. The two end up spending the entire week together and on their final day together something happens that results in her immediate departure without even a goodbye. The story of Elowen and Gawan is essentially what brings them back together 10 years later.
I was initially intrigued by this book after hearing about it’s unique accordion-fold binding which I’ve never seen done before. From a practical stand-point the book could be considered lacking as it’s hard to hold since it’s missing a binding; however, I think that it was still a beautifully executed idea.
You can start with either Brendan or Evelyn’s side of the story. Read one side and then simply flip the book over and read the other persons point of view. I originally thought that this would be the same story simply retold from separate points of view but I felt that each person managed to tell their own story. I chose to begin reading Brendan’s story first and found myself glad I did. I felt that Brendan’s side generated most of the questions while Evelyn’s sufficiently answered them. I’m sure either way you start will suffice though.
I felt a bit put off how the story was progressing but I think it was because it wasn’t the love story I was expecting. This was a bit more tragic than I had anticipated although I did enjoy how the ending left much to the imagination.