"The Brevity of Roses" is an elegant story that quietly dragged me into the lives and loves of its characters. Perhaps this novel appealed to me because love in its many forms—a passionate interest of mine—is the main theme. Both the wonder and the anxiety of sensual love, family love and friendship are explored with charm, poise and intelligence.
Jalal, a handsome American-Iranian poet, unexpectedly finds love with an older woman, Meredith. When tragedy strikes, he withdraws from life until Renee, a young woman as wounded by love as he, falls in love with him, Jalal struggles to break free from his pain and grief. His is a struggle we all have to cope with at some time in our lives and that is where the story's greatest appeal lies.
For a debut novel, this story is well-crafted and complex, interesting and deep, without ever being obscure. "The Brevity of Roses" is a fine read by a talented author and I look forward to Ms Lewis’s next novel.