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Love May Fail
Cover of Love May Fail
Love May Fail
A Novel
Borrow Borrow

An aspiring feminist and underappreciated housewife embarks on an odyssey to find human decency and goodness—and her high school English teacher—in New York Times bestselling author Matthew Quick's offbeat masterpiece, a quirky ode to love, fate, and hair metal.

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking to find the goodness in the world she believes still exists, Portia sets off to save herself by saving someone else—a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a traumatic incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt her chances on this madcap quest to restore a good man's reputation and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

An aspiring feminist and underappreciated housewife embarks on an odyssey to find human decency and goodness—and her high school English teacher—in New York Times bestselling author Matthew Quick's offbeat masterpiece, a quirky ode to love, fate, and hair metal.

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking to find the goodness in the world she believes still exists, Portia sets off to save herself by saving someone else—a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a traumatic incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt her chances on this madcap quest to restore a good man's reputation and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

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About the Author-
  • Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into an Oscar-winning film, and The Good Luck of Right Now. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. Q lives with his wife, the novelist-pianist Alicia Bessette, on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine A multicast presentation is ideal for this convoluted story and its many characters. When Portia Kane finds her husband, a porn-producer, with a young actress, she decides she's had enough, despite their lavish lifestyle. Narrator Cris Dukehart skillfully presents Kane's anger and self-loathing and, finally, her determination as she seeks out her high school English teacher, the one man who's never let her down. Jim Meskimen deftly portrays the diminished Mr. Vernon, who left teaching after being attacked by a student. Kane comes alive as she helps him rediscover his love of teaching. Most entertaining is Lorna Raver as wine-loving, spirited Sister Maeve Smith, who never gives up praying for Kane and Vernon. Listeners will be exhilarated by this loving tribute to teachers, writers, and literature. S.G.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 16, 2015
    Quick’s (The Good Luck of Right Now) latest is the story of Portia Kane, who leaves her millionaire porn-producer husband in Florida after discovering him in bed with a much younger woman. Portia flies back to her hoarding mother’s hovel in New Jersey, on a quest to find and save her favorite high school teacher—the reclusive Mr. Vernon, who disappeared after an attack by a bat-wielding student. The story unfolds through multiple points of view: those of Portia; the Camus-quoting, suicidal Mr. Vernon; Sister Maeve, Portia’s wry, acerbic seatmate on her flight home; Mr. Vernon’s estranged mother (revealed through her one-sided epistolary relationship with her son); and Chuck Bass, a long-sober heroin addict who shares Portia’s love of heavy metal and was also profoundly affected by Mr. Vernon. Though Portia’s story is the main thread, Quick captures the essence of these other characters better; in their own imperfections and in relationship to her, they are more interesting. Still, this darkly funny, profanity-filled novel fits together, jagged edges and all, and readers will be engrossed.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2015
    Quick made his name with "The Silver Linings Playbook", which has sold 600,000 copies in paperback and ebook combined and was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Last February's "The Good Luck of Right Now" was both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick and is currently in film development. So get ready for Quick's latest, in which Portia Kane flees Florida and her womanizing pornographer husband to back-in-the-past South Jersey, site of her discontented childhood. There, she hopes to help a beloved high school English teacher who's retired under a cloud. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2015

    In his third novel Quick covers some of the same ground as in The Silver Linings Playbook and The Good Luck of Right Now, focusing on unhappy and broken people finding and making a new sort of family that helps them persevere and even dream. It is also about strange coincidences, fate, a divine plan, or dumb luck, depending on your perspective. (All of those explanations are subscribed to by different characters in the book.) Portia Kane leaves an unhappy marriage to return to her South Jersey home. Along the way she meets a frisky nun, learns how to cope with her hoarder mom, rediscovers her love of hair metal (particularly Motley Crue), finds love again, and embarks on a quest to "resurrect" her former English teacher Mr. Vernon, a man literally broken by an old student. The story is told in four parts, each by its own narrator, which serves to give some sharp perspective on the different characters. VERDICT An easy, enjoyable, and thoughtful read with laughs and tears along the way. Quick's devotees won't be disappointed. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/14.]--Amy Watts, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    January 1, 2015

    Quick made his name with The Silver Linings Playbook, which has sold 600,000 copies in paperback and ebook combined and was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Last February's The Good Luck of Right Now was both a LibraryReads and an Indie Next pick and is currently in film development. So get ready for Quick's latest, in which Portia Kane flees Florida and her womanizing pornographer husband to back-in-the-past South Jersey, site of her discontented childhood. There, she hopes to help a beloved high school English teacher who's retired under a cloud. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2015
    When a metal head princess, a reformed junkie, a fast-talking woman of God, and a despondent retired teacher walk into a book, unpredictable chaos ensues. In his amusing but disjointed new novel, the author of The Silver Linings Playbook (2008) channels four troubled narrators to varying effect. First we meet Portia Kane, an aging trophy wife about to shoot her porn-producer husband and his perky teen lover. Then she wisely abandons this plan and storms out, instead embarking on a quest to save her hoarder mother, her suicidal high school English teacher, and-you knew this was coming-herself (in an awkward little subplot, this involves publishing a book that gets a poor Kirkus review). The teacher, Mr. Vernon, barely survived a beating by one of his students and now lives alone in the woods with a broken spirit, a lot of wine, and a dog named Albert Camus. (Quick does his best work with Vernon, who lusts after "the noses of Jewish women" and waxes nostalgic for "late PBS painter Bob Ross.") Portia lands on his doorstep in time to delay his death but not before she reconnects with a hometown friend's handsome brother, who's been crushing on her for 20 years and later chronicles their relationship in his own section. Need a breath yet? Take one now, before the nun. Our final tour guide is Sister Maeve Smith, who speaks from beyond the grave via letters to her son, aka Mr. Vernon, after she meets Portia on a plane. Call it fate, call it coincidence, call it too much plot-either way, you can't fault Quick for being short on ideas. All his books have been optioned for movies, including this one, and they almost make more sense that way: it's easy to imagine this quartet of busy narrators, whose similar voices sometimes fall flat on the page, brought to life beautifully by the right cast. An overstuffed ode to bygone pop culture and the unattainable literary life.

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Love May Fail
A Novel
Matthew Quick
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