The long wait is over. After almost six years, Samantha Sotto ushered in her latest work early this month. While I am no literary critic, let me share with you my thoughts on Love and Gravity.
1. "Let your words excite the senses of your reader. Take them to that place, that time, that feeling, that moment in your story." A lesson I picked up from an elective class I took many moons ago. And like Before Ever After, the author managed to take me this time to the worlds of Andrea, Isaac and Nate.
The moment I flipped open the book (Don't you just love the smell of the crisp pages?), I was glued. Every page turned was a vignette on my mind. The vivid descriptions of the characters and their emotions, the setting and even the minute details, ignited my imagination as I joined the journey across time and continents.
2. To have Isaac Newton as a principal character is a bold move. It would probably have been easier to develop a story around a certain historical event but to build a plot on a popular figure without distorting what has been written about him is indeed a challenge. And the author pulled it off, creating a slew of possibilities and at the same time, humanizing an otherwise stoic scientist.
3. I can just imagine the immense research the author undertook, the herculean task of weaving various timelines as well as several disciplines from math and science to music and literature (narrating the basics, enough for the readers to understand) into one coherent whole. My respect and salute!
4. If Before Ever After took us to Boracay, hints of something remotely related to the Philippines can be found in Love and Gravity. From the name of a minor character to the knock knock jokes (it may not have its origin in the Philippines but is very much part of our popular culture). However, I am not much into knock knock jokes so I somehow got lost in the banter.
5. Just when you thought you are about to reach the denouement, the author has another surprise which makes the reading interesting till the end.
It was suggested by the author that Love and Gravity be read accompanied by its Spotify playlist, which I will do on my second reading. And I will attempt to plot the timelines of both Andrea and Isaac, too.
While both her works have romance as central theme, what has drawn me to her writing was how she challenges the time element and come up with myriad scenarios to many what-ifs.
A final note. I do not know the author personally nor have we met. But I am happy for her. From her Starbucks nook and The Slight Detour corner, she now has literary babies of her own that are internationally recognized. Definitely a pride of our country.