Endless Love

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Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.04.24 PM            Five stars.

In this moving novel, Scott Spencer tells the story of David and Jade who share a love that is so intense and true, they cannot even fathom it themselves. Their electrically charged desire for each other takes them into another dimension of love that is beyond the love that most people know and understand.

Here, Spencer speaks through his character, David Axelrod as he describes being in love:

“If being in love is to be suddenly united with the most unruly, the most outrageously alive part of yourself, this state of piercing consciousness did not subside in me, as I’ve learned it does in others, after a time. If my mind could have made a sound, it would have burst a row of wineglasses. I saw coincidences everywhere; meanings darted and danced like overheated molecules. Everything was terrifyingly complex; everything was terrifyingly simple.”

From beginning to end, Spencer uses poetic metaphors that enable you to see the characters as he perhaps saw them in his imagination as he wrote. His descriptions of settings and feelings invite you deeper into the story where you can feel the passion, the pain, and the aliveness the young couple feel. Oh! How many corners of pages I folded, overwhelmed with the beauty of the words, hoping to one day return to them again.

David’s emotions provoke him to cause an accident that separates him from Jade and her family. As David lays alone in his room, separated from his soulmate, he tells of the hundred letters he never sent…

“I wrote at dawn, I wrote in the bathroom, I woke in the desolate middle of the night and wrote and wrote. I wrote poems, some copied, some composed. I made it clear to the world that what Jade and I had found in each other was more real than any other world, more real than time, more real than death, more real, even, than she and I.”

He quietly, secretly, and ambitiously develops a plan to restore the harmony they once shared, until his efforts succeed and bring him closer to the only reality he wants to call his own.

“I felt her presence drifting within me like sunlight in a dark wood and I knew that she felt my thoughts as they followed her. It was life as dream, afternoons in eternity, it was all manner of leaps of meaning, all varieties of mental magic, it was the world luminous and transparent once again—just as it was when I fell asleep in Jade’s embrace and woke with her hair on my pillow.”

Although considered a preeminent erotic love story of its time, Endless Love does not include chapter after chapter of shallow sexual encounters between the characters. You spend over two hundred pages exploring the depths of their relationship, the light, the darkness, the pleasure, and the pain. Each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter builds up to the moment when Jade and David are finally reunited. The poetry and imagery invite you into the room where the lovers communicate with their voices, their hands, their eyes, their bodies. The climax seems never-ending as Spencer shares the most elaborate, intricate details. If I had to describe the sexual scenes with one word, I wouldn’t say penetration or ecstasy or erotic or seductive.. I would say absorption.

“I felt surrounded by a membrane of pleasure, a huge, incandescent cocoon, brilliant and opaque for the most part but diaphanous at this curve or that.  And through those patches of pleasure from which the color had somehow drained, I was intermittently aware of the shadows on the wall, the creak of the bedsprings, the peevish nuzzle of one prominent mattress button. Then, like a slowly revolving dome, the pleasure surrounded me in all of its opacity and I was lost again.”

The bond between David and Jade gives others hope for a transcendent love. Other characters in the story have their own love stories, but witnessing the alliance between David and Jade moves them to question their own romantic relationships. David and Jade’s energetic connection moves and inspires others to discover their own capacities to give and to feel love.

I am experiencing love everyday. I experience it through my relationship with Ezra. I also experience the many loves that exist in our existence through listening to and observing my friends, family, and even strangers. Although love is all around, I unfortunately do not see many people consumed in a love like David and Jade. Some people have gone and will go their entire lives never feeling or knowing a love as infinite as the characters in the story.

Humans are resilient beings and we can carry on life after love. We can find new mates when relationships end. We can develop deeper connections with ourselves and build our independence. But when there is a love as inconceivable as David and Jade’s, it is rare and unequaled. Spencer emphasizes this in the final pages, where his words are so beautiful, I held the book to my heart and wept.

“Everything is in its place. The past rests, breathing faintly in the darkness. It no longer holds me as it used to; now I must reach back to touch it. It is night and I am alone and there is still time, a moment more. I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped— or have been expelled—from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for the last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness:                                          I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.”   -page 418

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