Only Love by Erich Segal

(No Series)

Dr. Matthew Hiller is about to face the most difficult moment of his life. The brilliant neurosurgeon's next case is not simply a suffering patient for whom he is the last hope. It is Silvia - his only love. Now married to one of the richest men in the world, Silvia can still evoke the same feelings in him that she did so long ago. Even after all this time, he has not recovered from her unexplained disappearance on the eve of their marriage - and thoughts of her have haunted him ever since. As a doctor, he must try to help her. As a spurned lover - and a married man - he must try to forget the past. And he dares not think about what might happen if he actually succeeds in saving her life...

It's tempting to say it's a romance, but it's really not.

It's a drama which entires its story upon a romantic relationship.

It's unusual for the biggest strength of a good book to be amazing writing. I can't think of many books that stand out in the memory as so well written, so imaginatively poised. Segal is an author I need to find again, for his way of melding words inspires. Easy to follow but beautiful at the same time, his poise is almost poetic, but it's not cloying.

Plot-wise it's interesting and I don't think I've read one like this one before - not overly romantic, not terribly suspenseful or gripping, and the story wraps up with a sad note (but not a haunting one.)  Basically a doctor meets a patient of his who is dying, and recognizes the woman as a life of his life, and then begins remembering their relationship twenty years ago. A mixed bag here. Sometimes I did get a bit bored with some of the backstory details. Even if it's not overly nail-biting, there's something about it that keeps you reading.

The protagonist is a sympathetic character, a man with morals and drive but with human flaw. It was cool to read this kind of story from a male perspective.The heroine is likeable but of course from the protagonists POV twenty years later she is at fault. The ending allows him to feel closure for a life of his life.

This review is one of my shorter recent ones. I just can't think of more to say than what I already have. It's not a novel that will grip your heart, but the magic of the writer at least makes your heart feel it.


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