Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom


Book Review: I Couldn't Love You More

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff is a story told with honesty, sharp prose, humor, care, and has lovably flawed characters.  This is the type of story that stays with you for weeks after finishing. 


The novel focuses on Eliot Harmon—a full-time working (inside and outside of the home) mother of three (biological mother to the adorable four-year-old Hailey, and stepmother to her partner Grant’s children: full-of-attitude teenager Charlotte and sweet, go-with-the-flow seven-year-old Gail). 


Eliot seems to have developed the ability to balance everything in their hectic lives when Finn, her long-lost first love from college, shows up.  Thrown off-kilter by his sudden appearance, Eliot attempts to maintain her current life. This struggle culminates in a situation no mother should ever have to face—choosing between two of her children.


The components of the story—the pacing, and the sequencing of flashbacks with the present—are gracefully assembled, successfully building drama and pushing the story while adding complexity to the characters.


The first half of the book takes its time, winding up carefully, allowing readers to get to know the characters.  Then the major turning point in the story occurs.  The second half of the book deals with the aftermath of the decision Eliot makes-- how each member of the family deals with it all, and if they can go on as a family.


In I Couldn’t Love You More the characters are precisely and so creatively constructed.  Eliot’s mother and sisters (my favorite character is Sylvia, the attention-seeking hypochondriac middle sister—she’s annoying, yet endearing, lending both drama and humor to the story) are realistic on the page, leading you to believe that somewhere out there these quirky women actually exist.  They are sure to aggravate you, incite laughter, inspire some tears, and warm your heart. 


Trust me; you will carry the characters and their stories with you long after you’ve read the last page.  To me, that’s the sign of a great book.



Categories: Books/Book Reviews

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