You know that moment when you fall in love with a book on the first page and are lucky enough that the same enthusiasm carries through to the final pages? That magical moment happened to me when I was reading How Much the Heart Can Hold*. Sent to me by the publishers, this is pitched as seven stories about love.
That’s a pretty vague prompt, and, honestly, one that seems quite common. As such, I was intrigued by the introduction who promised something a little different with this collection. Rather than all of the stories being about general love, each writer was given a type to focus on. By this I mean the old school ancient Greek/ philosophical kind – can you see why it hooked me now? The stories focus on seven kinds, including Pragma (enduring love), Mania (obsessive love) and Storge (familial love). What this means is that the stories are more like siblings than twins. They’re all connected, of course, but with a thread of commonality rather than feeling too similar and repetitive.
The first story was a perfect start to the collection and really hooked me. Based on the pain of unrequited love, it is a haunting tale of loss and heartbreak that stuck with me long after I finished reading it.
From there, How Much the Heart Can Hold continued from strength to strength. There were some that I loved more than others but even the ones that weren’t my absolute favourites were really good. It was a refreshing and potent look at love, in all its forms with lasting power. This is the kind of collection I can see myself dipping in and out of for years to come. It’s heartbreaking in places, uplifting in others and utterly wonderful throughout.
P.S If you want to pick up a copy of How Much the Heart Can Hold, you can find it here (this is an affiliate link)