B.L. McGrew has created a love story unlike any I’ve ever read or seen on the silver screen. Move over Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca); Whitney and Kevin Costner (The Bodyguard); Romeo & Juliet. McGrew’s Ezmerelda Day and Barnaby Parks, two high school sweethearts, take love to new heights.
McGrew’s exquisitely written novel reads like a symphony. She brings the elements of the story together harmoniously with beautiful prose that takes your breath away. In an era of twerking, graphic sex scenes, casual sex, microwave relationships, profane language, THOTs, and side chicks, McGrew’s work is a literary breath of fresh air. Told in the first-person present voice of Ezmerelda, we’re given a birds-eye view of the couple’s unconventional whirlwind romance.
Ezmerelda, who at the beginning of the story prefers to be called Mazie, is an eighteen-year-old blind girl and aspiring author. Her sole closest relative is her sister Maya. If that weren’t challenging enough, she’s also a cancer-survivor, who when the story opens, is starting a new high school. During week two, she meets seventeen-year-old Barnaby, who at the request of her English teacher, escorts her to the library where she plans on spending her free period. Barnaby also has a free period during this time. Barnaby has no problem escorting Mazie, but Mazie rebuffs Barnaby at every turn.
Mazie, who has been without sight for five years, is fiercely independent. It’s the very reason she opted to transfer from the school for the blind, she had attended for three years, to a regular high school. “There is nothing at that school that will teach me about the real world, about real people. It’s a false representation of what the world is, and I want to experience the real thing, I think I deserve that much.” Those are Mazie’s words that speak volumes to her feisty, take no prisoners spirit—a spirit that Barnaby is immediately drawn to—so much so that from that day on, he doesn’t leave her side.
They spend almost every day together, discussing literature, life, and host of other topics that result in heated debates that invariably lead to bouts of laughter. Throughout the relationship Mazie grapples with her insecurities and doubts about Barnaby’s true intentions, but he’s relentless in his pursuit of her, taking her on several adventures that require her to have blind faith in him (no pun intended). Overtime, the relationship deepens, but Mazie feels Barnaby is not forthcoming enough about his family life. It’s apparent he’s harboring a dark secret.
McGrew has ingeniously created underlying tension in the novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering if the proverbial shoe is going to drop and if so, when? Is this true love? Will it last? I found myself biting my nails, wondering if and when the pair would consummate their relationship—an act that would be a first for Ezmerelda. And if they did, how would it change things? What would their first real fight be like? Would Mazie fall ill again and how would Barnaby be able to handle it? What does the future hold for them together and or apart? The answers to these questions, and this wonderful, magical couple that became my fictional couple crush, kept me turning the pages.
We Are Immeasurable is in a class of its own and definitely worth the read.
Bravo, B.L. McGrew!