Wednesday, June 14, 2017
White Fur by Jardine Libaire
Her name is Elise Perez. His is Jamey Hyde. She is a mix of cultures and races, brought up in housing projects where she had to scrap for everything she had. He grew up in Long Island mansions, Vail and Europe vacations, Manhattan townhouses. She grew up with a single mother who had her at sixteen and half-siblings from various men her mother lives with. He grew up the scion of an investment banking family with a famous actress mother. They couldn't be more dissimilar.
Jamey is in New Haven attending Yale and living with his best friend who he has known his entire life. Elise is in New Haven because that's where she ended up as she drifted away from Bridgeport, Connecticut looking for something, anything and living with a gay man who found her sleeping rough on the street and took her in. They are from different worlds and should have nothing in common. And yet, and yet. There is an immediate spark, an almost visceral attraction. Jamey has everything but has never felt that anyone really saw him. Elise has nothing but she knows about love and sees Jamey behind his facade for the man he really is.
Soon they are spending every moment together. Everyone they know is appalled. His friends don't know what to make of her and suspect that she is sizing him up to rob his apartment. Her friends suspect that nothing good can come from this, that Jamey is just slumming and will break Elise's heart. His family is simply appalled. Elise is like nothing they could have expected and the difference is more than they can accept. They try various methods of breaking the two apart, things that have always worked, threats of money being cut off and scandals that will shame the entire clan. Nothing matters. The love between Jamey and Elise is so incandescent that it outshines every difference, every obstacle. Or does it?
Jardine Libraire has written a modern love story that burns it's way into the reader's mind. Elise and Jamey are characters who will not be easily forgotten and their love is the memory each of us has about the first time we really, really fell into love. This is Jardine Libaire's second novel. She attended the University of Michigan's MFA program where she received the Hopwood Award. This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and anyone who wants to remember how love feels.