Review: The Remedy for Love

“I think what love is, is that two people cross into a different world together because of a shared event or experience. Like, they cross together into one of those other worlds.”

the remedy for loveSometimes we leave love and sometimes love leaves us. Either way, the central characters of Bill Roorbach’s warmhearted novel, The Remedy for Love, find themselves adrift in a world without love. When Eric, a small town lawyer, attempts to help unkempt and angry Danielle at a grocery store, the two find themselves on a collision course towards something extraordinary. The “Storm of the Century” traps them together in a small cabin and through Roorbach’s evocative wordsmithing, the reader feels the snow crushing these two closer and closer together as their conversations become deeper.

Roorbach captured the snow-blighted landscape and harsh edges of these two people’s broken hearts in such a way that I found myself unable to put this book down. Roorbach frames the growth of this unexpected and electric love through stories of the betrayals and failings of their own relationships. The juxtaposition of new love and old creates a beautiful dissonance in the novel, as if the joy these two broken souls are able to experience with each other raises questions for all relationships, offers hope for all broken hearts.

At times sensual and always witty, Roorbach’s newest endeavor allows a look into the first moment of love, past and present. He offers a window into a hope that Thoreau wrote of: “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

The Remedy for Love by Bill Roorbach (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill | ISBN 9781616203313 | October 14, 2014)

Ellen Crispin

Ellen studies the English language: where it has been and where it’s going. She believes there is nothing quite like a Margaret Atwood ending or one of David Mitchell’s woven worlds or the weird brilliance that constitutes a Kelly Link short story. To her, there is nothing as welcoming as a well-written book.