Review: A THEORY OF LOVE by Margaret Bradham Thornton

Janelle Book Reviews, Contemporary, Ecco Press, Finished Copy, From Publisher Leave a Comment

Thank you so much to Ecco Books for this beautiful free copy – all opinions are my own. 


Helen Gibbs, a British journalist on assignment on the west coast of Mexico, meets Christopher Delavaux, an intriguing half-French, half-American lawyer-turned-financier who has come alone to surf. Living lives that never stop moving, from their first encounter in Bermeja to marriage in London and travels to such places as Saint-Tropez, Tangier, and Santa Clara, Helen and Christopher must decide how much they exist for themselves and how much they exist for each other. In an effort to build his firm, Christopher leads a life full of speed and ambition with little time for Helen and even less when he suspects his business partner of illegal activity. Helen, a reluctant voyeur to Christopher’s world of power and position, searches far and wide for reporting work that will “take a bite out of her soul”—refugees in Calais, a mountain climber in Chamonix, an orphaned circus performer in Cuba. A Theory of Love captures the ambivalence at the center of human experience: does one reside in the familiar comforts of solitude or dare to open one’s heart and risk having it broken? Set in some of the most picturesque places in the world, this novel questions what it means to love someone and leaves us wondering—can nothing save us but a fall?

My Review: 

Helen Gibbs is a British journalist working on a profile piece when she meets the aspiring investment banker Christopher Delavaux off the coast of Mexico. They quickly develop a relationship and soon after, get married. Helen’s occupation gives her the freedom to travel so off they go to exotic places like Saint-Tropez, Havana, Tangier, and Milan. But soon the relationship isn’t everything Helen thought it would be. They both struggle with maintaining a marriage with the distractions of their careers looming overhead.

I was captivated throughout reading about Helen and Christopher’s love story. It’s always enchanting to read about a complex relationship in exotic, gorgeous settings. I really enjoyed the swanky, glamorous scenes and the immersive world that Thornton created. I felt the tension between Helen and Christopher when the relationship suffered, which is a testament to great writing. Thornton writes with the perfect balance of intensity and subtlety that I loved, so I never felt the novel was “overly romantic”. It was just interesting going on their journey. In a perfect beach setting, everything can seem so idyllic, but it’s quite different when life gets in the way. A THEORY OF LOVE is an indulgent read with lovely prose and exquisite settings that make for the perfect escape.

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars!

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