My first book, The Secret Year, was definitely about loss, but was it about love? This was the question I put to the classes and book groups I visited. The relationship in question was thrilling and intense, but it was also secretive, deceptive. The two people involved didn’t always trust each other, and at times they said incredibly hurtful things. They loved many of the same things, they were on the same wavelength in many ways—and yet, they always kept a certain distance between them. They embraced their external obstacles as an excuse not to risk more, not to be more honest.
I didn’t want this to be an ideal relationship. I wanted it to be messy, complicated—like life. I wanted readers to think about the questions of what love is, what a good relationship is. I wanted them to know you can survive a relationship’s end, rough as it may be.
For me, the most interesting stories are about open-ended questions. They're about the imperfections, the trial and error, the heartbreak and healing.