Philip K. (San Anselmo, Ca)
I am an older man who doesn't particularly enjoy love stories as they are often maudlin and unrealistic. The First Warm Evening of the year was neither as it was more character-driven than anything else, and it's characters were people you would want to befriend in life. Beautifully written, there were time I reread paragraphs for their beauty. Highly recommended.
Vy A. (Phoenix, AZ)
The First Warm Evening of the Year
With only a few characters and in a short time span, author Jamie Saul captures many complex emotions in both fragile and solid relationships. This story deals with friendship at many levels and many types of love--love between siblings, parents and children, spouses and lovers. It is also a story of love lost and found again, but perhaps most importantly it recognizes how painful the grieving process can be. This book will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one and the difficulty of letting go of the past. It is also a novel of redemption, grace and second chances for love in one’s life.
Suri F. (Durham, NC)
I did not enjoy this book at all, and only rated it a 3 because I realize that someone else might like it. To me, the book appears to be a cartoon without illustrations.The characters were self-centered and humorless. They lived in a privileged world where everyone is affluent and white, but they are loaded with self pity. None of them was fully drawn nor did they appear to have any true back story.
Cam G. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
The First Warm Evening of the Year
Like a mystery story, The First Warm Evening of the Year, held me in its trance. It is a love story, but unlike most romances, it is poignant, heart-rending and suspenseful. Saul's wonderfully crafted characterizations, and his ability to write with compassion and elegance make for a wonderful read.
Bea C. (Liberty Lake, WA)
Unromantic love story
This book is about love at first sight, but it is not a sappy romance novel nor is it action-filled. It is more about characters who have settled for their lives and resist change. It is a sensitive, moving, character driven story about a middle aged man who is called on to be the executor for the estate of an old friend and finds that the departed friend had, before her death, arranged for him to meet a widowed friend of hers. It is very analytical story filled with inner turmoil and it flows along smoothly, even though some people may find the situations sad and depressing. Great writing.
Priscilla M. (Houston, TX)
A Slow Start...
There was much I enjoyed about this book, but initially I was tempted to put it down. When we first meet the main character, Geoffrey Tremont, he is a middle aged New Yorker who is content with his life as an actor doing commercial voice overs for radio and television. He is just beginning to feel vague stirrings of discontent when he finds that he has been named executor of the will of his best friend in college, a jazz musician named Laura, whom he has not seen in many years. In the course of settling her affairs, he quickly falls for Laura's best friend. Here is where I felt the disconnect. Do I know enough about Geoffrey at this point to understand or even care about his emotional turmoil? As the story unfolds, the reader begins to understand the self-doubts felt by each of the characters populating this novel. They all have decisions to make about goals, dreams, and how the pull of the past can shape the future.
I did enjoy the book. It was a pleasant, introspective read, best enjoyed by someone who can understand and appreciate a time in one's life when one wonders, ala Peggy Lee, "Is that all there is?"
Beth M. (Scarsdale, NY)
A lot of pondering, not much action.
I found this book frustrating to read. What this book explored is the fascinating terrain of love lost and new love found and the crazy dance of relationships. However, very little happens and much of the dialog is internal and introspective. Plus I just couldn't buy the idea of love at first sight for two middle aged and wounded people. I did appreciate the writer's intense psychological analysis and his gentle handling of each character.