Book Review: The Suncatchers
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A love story to pine for
There are few things more romantic than meeting the love of your life by chance.
Luka was just trying to buy ingredients for a dinner she wanted to prepare for her father when Espen approaches her. This random romantic interaction is the starting point of a fabulous book called The Suncatchers by Leonora Ross.
Set mostly in Amsterdam, this story takes readers through the highs and lows of some of the most important relationships in Luka’s life.
When Espen first approaches Luka, she decides against her better judgement to forego exchanging information with him. Not long after, she runs into a similar fellow by chance in a bookshop, who ends up being Espen’s brother, and with this second chance she decides to reach out to Espen. Thus a budding and quick moving relationship begins, and she picks up a couple of best guy friends in the process.
As time goes by, Luka and Espen navigate the sometimes rocky road of romantic relationships. Luka’s strong bond with her parents intimidates Espen and causes bouts of jealousy. Espen is passionate about protecting the ocean, which is why he strongly protests when Luka accepts a job to be a cartographer for an elitist yacht company.
Still, their love remains and her friendships with his brother Bas and best friend Stijn become some of the most important relationships in her life.
But all of that changes when an unforeseen disaster strikes, and it shakes the group to their core. With her loving family there to support her, and a fantastic group of men to balance things out, Luka learns what it means to carry on even in the darkest times.
Fair warning: it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with The Suncatchers main character Luka. She is, in many ways, the ultimate female lead. She’s mysterious, extremely educated, effortlessly beautiful, kind, a devoted girlfriend, daughter, and friend.
But what makes her such a well-rounded character is her ability to stand up for herself in nearly every situation. There are a handful of times when Espen is being unfair to her—bossy or jealous probably—and Luka responds to him in the perfect way each time. She demands respect, maintains her devotion to her parents and her career, and refuses to settle no matter the cost. And over time, Espen is able to accept her more fully. It’s a joy to read such an excellent female lead.
Speaking of relationships—there is a kind of natural flow that is developed between her and the three guys she hangs around the most. It may make readers question who she should truly be with. I loved playing this guessing game throughout the book.
Espen is her boyfriend, but he doesn’t fit Luka exactly. His brother on the other hand has a softness to him that allows him and Luka to have an effortless bond. He even felt a connection with her upon their first encounter, so this adds to the potential drama.
And lastly there is Stijn, a guy whose life would be made completely better with Luka by his side. Their relaxed and comically relationship seems like it would be one that both parties would have fun in for years to come. While there isn’t exactly a love triangle (or love square) going on, Leonora Ross’s ability to give readers the hope that anything can happen is one of the many highlights of her writing.
One thing of note is that the pacing is a bit slow for the first half of the book. We get to follow Luka and Espen’s relationship for years in intricate detail, but part of me wishes there would have been a time-jump to years later. Aside from that, I loved reading The Suncatchers and would recommend it to those who love smart female leads and a good love story.
Genre: Literary & General Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Print Length: 348 pages
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