August 1, 2016

Loving Annalise

Loving Annalise
After years of poverty, heartbreak, loss and betrayal, Tomas enters Annalise's world and shatters the iron casing she's erected around her heart. Tomas is kind, intelligent, romantic and handsome, but he's also her husband's brother!

Once Tomas and Annalise meet, they are forever intertwined and repeatedly ripped apart by fate, self-doubt and blackmail. Her husband, Jens, is a brilliant, jealous and manipulative scoundrel who keeps her psychologically under lock and key, until her passion for Tomas sets her free.
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Gabriel Constans has written a poignant love story that tugs at the heart with “Loving Annalise”. Beautifully written, the story follows Annalise from her childhood in Luxembourg through her life to adulthood. As the book begins Annalise is making passionate love with Tomas in the Colorado Rockies. What follows are the experiences that led her to that moment.

This is a richly descriptive story crossing the ocean, cultures, and time. From her insular youth in the town of Krumjagen to the United States, Annalise faces a multitude of changes. It’s a book about a woman who is loved as a child, grows to be an independent young woman, and finds herself in a marriage with a man who tries to possess her. Annalise is both courageous and frightened, passionate and cold. In many ways she is “Everywoman” as she matures. She travels her life’s journey from innocence and uncertainty until she finds her career calling as a nurse. This in itself defines Annalise; she is a caretaker. Annalise was raised to take care of others, putting herself second.

When she marries Jens, much to her grandmother’s dismay, she becomes the unwitting caretaker of him and their marriage. In spite of Jens infidelities she remains faithful. Even when she meets his family in the United States and falls in love with his brother Tomas, she cannot allow herself to leave Jens. Instead she puts her feelings aside and avoids a relationship with Tomas, depriving both of them of a loving and fulfilling relationship. Although her feelings for Tomas remain strong, she resists her desire and dedicates herself to Jens and their children.

It s only as Annalise matures and begins to recognize her own value as a contributing person, that she finds the strength to press forward toward independence. However she must separate herself from a total commitment in love before she is ready to accept the love of a man, Tomas, completely. After years when both have been married and divorced, Tomas reappears in her life. Her heart opens like a flower in bloom when she is finally able to engage in a totally loving relationship. The lovers realize they have never stopped loving one another and their climactic reunion is both tender and passionate.

The characters are very well developed, from Annalise and Tomas, to her family, her children, and even the town priest. It’s impossible not to be drawn into this story which is almost like reading a woman’s diary. Her most private thoughts and emotions are revealed.

I highly recommend this book, not only as a romance but as an in depth exploration of a woman’s life. Be prepared to share her experiences of joy, sorrow, love, and loss.

I've always been curious to read a book written by a male author and when the opportunity arose, I didn't hesitate.

But before starting, my mind began to ramble and certain questions arose, but the most pertinent was: would I like it or not?

Gabriel Constans was, like I said initially, a new author for me, and so the expectation was very high. His writing is simple, soft, and inviting.

Loving Annalise explores Annalise’s life. Being the eldest child, it was her mission to protect and help her younger brothers as well as help in daily tasks at home. Life was not easy and Annalise was forced to fight against overwhelming odds to finally be happy. When we love someone we are so amazed that we don't realize what is right in front of us.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.

Honestly I wasn't expecting what I read; I guess it's a myth that men don't have a sensitive side because this story was full of emotion. I found myself anxious but at the same time curious and cheerful.

The whole plot unfolds in a soft and cozy way, and I love the German language references.

I'll be curious waiting for another book from this author.
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