The Love That Split the World, by Emily Henry
Five stars for the language, which is stunningly beautiful at times,
and only two Stars for the Story which I had some issues with :o-(
Natalie Cleary, an adopted Native American, has been visited by the spectral vision of a woman she calls Grandmother for most of her life. This grandmother tells her stories, allegories perhaps, or heritage retellings. Natalie is different than other girls, she has a gift of sorts, an ability to see and be in different dimensions. She is one of the Others, those who can see and be in the beyond the here and now. But she never knows when this will happened and that, I feel, is quite unfair. The unseen, the one of greatest Love doesn’t seem to realize just how unfair it is to send a young girl on mind trips.
Somehow, Natalie copes, until the day Grandmother tells her she has 3 months to save him. And who him is, is the mystery. Though Natalie assumes it’s Matt at first, her ex boy friend who loves her to the point of instability. Then there’s Beau, one of the Others with the same skill who she loves intensely though she barely comes to know him, though he’s there every time she tries to figure things out.
Ultimately, through much goings on and confusion between the two as to what to do, Natalie comes to realize that in order to save the boy, no spoilers here, she must offer herself as sacrifice so that the world will not be split, or something like that which I feel is never made quite clear enough. Here is where I have a problem. Love is not about sacrifice, it is never about sacrifice. It is about giving love and receiving love. Period. My opinion.
This is where a biblical sort of allegory takes place. God is the perfect love, Natalie comes to understand and gives of herself freely. Of her life. Though her sacrifice is met with Love and her life is redeemed. End of Story. I feel there was some confusion in the story, though growing up and finding out about life, and loss and where we fit into this confusing place we call life, is difficult I grant. Haven’t we all been through it? Most of us come out unscathed, or mostly so.
In summary, The Love That Split the World, has many merits. Language and its beauty is one of them. A story about growing up and facing life is another. But love, the kind that grows between two people, is not achieved in an instant. And self sacrifice for love, to offer oneself as a lamb is something I’d rather not impose on those who are coming of age. They have enough to deal with as it is. So I don’t recommend this for teens.