The Love That Split the World is a beautiful story about finding love, being loved, and having love to give. It will tear your heart apart and then find a way to put all the pieces back together again!
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first – her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
There is so much to love about this story. It begins with our main character, Natalie, speaking with someone she calls Grandmother who tells her that she has only three months to save a boy. That is the moment when everything goes downhill for Natalie, who is simply just looking forward to graduating high school and moving away from her small town to attend college.
Natalie is surrounded by a loving family despite being adopted and constantly feeling like she’ll never belong amongst them. It’s clear how deeply they love her though, even when her siblings constantly stick up for her. Being loved is not something Natalie is missing from her life, because her friends are just as great as her family. One of my favorite parts about this book are the relationships that Natalie has with all of them. She carries everyone she loves in her heart, and they are each a part of her. So, it wasn’t hard to feel connected to her because she felt so real.
Natalie’s life becomes more complicated and confusing for her, in more ways than one. On the night that she starts seeing the “wrong things” is the same night she meets the lovely Beau Wilkes. Beau seems like a good guy with a hint of mystery surrounding him. If I’m going to compare this to Friday Night Lights then he’s totally Tim Riggins, and I’m all for that. Their romance develops quickly, and I honestly didn’t mind their instant connection. Both of them have felt different their entire lives, and the world finally makes sense when they’re together, so of course their instant connection works for me.
Every character serves a purpose, but it was always Natalie’s story and we see her truly grow up as the story continues. In the end, I was crushed but in a good way. I know that doesn’t make sense to you if you haven’t read the book, but trust me when I tell you that this story will bring lots of feelings that are both good and bad.
The story wraps up in a beautiful way where everything makes sense, and I can’t help but appreciate all of the foreshadowing Emily Henry incorporated into the beginning. I enjoyed Henry’s fantastic writing style, and how she found a way to use the smaller stories Grandmother told to help bring more meaning behind everything that happens in Natalie’s life.
I found more of myself through this story and saw more from the relationships in my own life. The Love That Split the World is not only a story about being loved or having love to give. Natalie was struggling with who she was and where she fit in with the people around her. Through these events and everyone close to her, including Grandmother, she learned that it’s okay to be scared to move on and find a different path to follow in life. There’s always going to be bad things that happen in our lives, but there will always be good things, too. You can’t have one without the other.
I highly recommend checking this book out, and letting this beautiful story teach you a few things about yourself and love. As Grandmother would say, “There’s always more to see and feel.”