”It hurts when we risk our hearts and it ends up being broken. but what hurts even more is when we still hold on when we already know that we're waiting for nothing…” ~ Carmela
Edwin, of 'Waiting for the Flood' by Alexis Hall, has lived his entire life being different, having to weigh and measure his every word and action for fear of recrimination. When his lover, Marius, came into his life, he marveled that anyone could love and accept him, for the most part, as he was. When the relationship ended with a whimper instead of a bang, it almost made things worse. His self-esteem, which was not great to begin with, was crushed and he was full of self-doubts and recriminations. Edwin is steeped so deeply in his own sorrow that he's stuck just where he is, in the past. He sometimes has to remind himself that Marius is truly gone and, with his departure shattered his hope for a wonderful life with him. Edwin feels unworthy, as if there had been something he could have done to prevent Marius from leaving. Edwin never thinks that maybe Marius never saw the 'real' Edwin, so he never got the opportunity to love him as Edwin loved Marius. Although he loved Marius dearly, he is still holding back. Even after two years, it hurts too much to contemplate the whys and hows of his lost love. The only way he can survive is to guard his heart for dear life, which is proving to be a very lonely existence.
As Edwin moves through his house, he gives not only a physical description of each room, but, also, a barrage of memories. Starting with: “The door is green.” He describes the overwhelming joy of standing hand-in-hand with Marius, a new start for them, their forever love. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. Edwin: “You don’t really fall in love with a house. You fall in love with the life you could have it in. From the moment I saw it, I saw us. I saw us in every room: talking, touching, sharing. I saw it all, but as it turned out, I saw only my dreams.”
The flood is an analogy for the flood of emotions in Edwin's mind; his growing anticipation of something having to give. He's tired of living alone, yet he still doesn't feel as though he deserves to be happy. Edwin knows that to do so means he has to be vulnerable again and he's not so sure that if he tries to do that again and fails, he will shatter into a million pieces, all too small to piece together again. When he meets redheaded, smiling Adam, it's like glimpsing a ray of sunshine in the middle of all the miserable rain and preparation for the flood which is coming. Adam offers hope, but it's hope Edwin doesn't think he can bear. Can Edwin stave off the flood of emotion that's been building for a long time and accept Adam's offer of a new, and even better, beginning than he had with Marius?
Writing a review on this story was hard for me, not because I didn't like the book, but because I loved it so much. I could point out several meaningful analogies, quotes which touched my soul and brought me to tears, but then my review would be almost as many pages as the book. 'Waiting for the Flood' affected me profoundly. It brought to mind personal feelings of love lost, but it also made me grateful that I was able to overcome them and love again. I highly recommend this story to those who enjoy an emotional, beautifully written love story which invokes feelings which almost everyone experiences when dealing with matters of the heart, and reminds us that they can be overcome. Thanks, Alexis, for touching my heart and giving me a different, but deeply moving reading experience.