No Other Name

No Other Name by Robert Beatty is a memorable and expressive love story, but it cannot be described so simply. It is a complex yet heartfelt story set a century ago. It starts with our narrator, Samuel Martin who is at the edge of adulthood and starts his journey into the unknown in a quite literal sense after high school. He does not find any romantic prospects in his little town, so he turns to the one place that most people and society shame. A bordello, or in his hometown it is popularly known as Mrs. Richardson’s house of pleasures. Samuel and his friend dare to go in the dead of the night to give up their virginity. What Samuel finds is a person that will change the trajectory of his life.

As cliché as it may seem, Samuel finds the girl of his dreams. A sex worker, who is beautiful yet exquisite, and I enjoyed how this contrast is drawn in the story. He instantly falls in love with her, a love at first sight situation. In his heart he knows, he will never find another one to love as he loves her, this is all a bit melodramatic but the emotions are vivid and deeply felt and really draw the reader in. With their one night of passion he knew he would spend the rest of his life with this girl. The girl who had no name. The girl who left her name in her past life and chose a new name for herself.

This is a contemplative and impassioned story that has a good pace and great emotional depth that will engross readers. The setting is set with clear details, allowing readers to easily dive into the old word. This is a character driven story where we see the relationship unfold between the two characters, even though the girl rejects his romantic gestures. The affect the girl has on Samuel is profound and readers will be able to empathize with his emotional turmoil.

I fell in love with the writing style in this novel. There were some moments of humor, even deadpan humor, which helped to break up the emotional strife that colors this novel. This ensures the novel never falls into a melancholic hole and instead feels much more approachable. While the story has moments where it dives deep into prosaic activities, I think readers will still find the romantic adventure behind all of it to be fascinating.

With a slow buildup this book will appeal to readers who enjoy a slow-burn style of writing where the joy comes in letting the story play out in its own time. No Other Name is a thought-provoking historical romance novel that provides readers with a thoughtful reflection on life and the odd ways it can play out.

Pages: 877 | ASIN : B08P89Q7CF

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Posted on December 21, 2021, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Though it may be late in the game you might want to add that the story is not all hearts and flowers romance in that both main characters make bad choices that dramatically alter both their lives and leave the girl murdered and Samuel on the run as the vengeful killer who hunts down and kills the man who murdered his improbable sweetheart. The girl is murdered in the first third of the story. The rest of of the story tracks the rest of Samuel’s life as a fugitive on the run living on the mean streets of turn of the century Chicago. Despite a respite living with a sympathetic family, Samuel’s life descends into increasing violence, first as a labor activist and striker, later into involvement and immersion in war.


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