Reviewed by Joanne Reynolds

Laura and Julio are a married couple living in an apartment next door to Manuel. Manuel has the keys to their apartment, but they don’t have keys to his. Laura and Julio seem to be content enough, but you can almost feel the unease that is a part of Julio and Manuel’s relationship. You sense the tension and Julio’s envy of Manuel’s “suaveness” and his privilege of not having to work since Manuel is endeavoring to be an author.

Julio creates sets for movies and thinks exactly along those lines about life and relationships; in some ways, he is separated from reality. There is vulnerability in his marriage and the insinuation of Manuel into their lives does not help the matters.

As the story progresses, Manuel gets hit by a car and is in a coma at the hospital. Julio and Laura are not sure whom they should contact, but eventually find Julio’s father, an ambassador, and spend months awaiting his recovery.

Laura announces to Julio that she believes she is pregnant. After coming home from the doctor, she informs him that she is, in fact, not pregnant. It is not long after this that she asks him to leave.

At this point, Julio has to understand his feelings and how to go on from here. He becomes involved with his brother’s ex-wife and daughter. There is some great dialogue between these two and the child. Julio becomes rather enchanted with the little girl; I believe because he was looking forward to being a father and had that taken away from him. The young girl forms a very quick bond with Julio and seems to want to make him her father. Julio warms to this fact and becomes involved a little too quickly – at least for my comfort.

While he is getting to know the girl and her mother, he is surreptitiously spying on Laura from Manuel’s apartment. He learns a lot from just staying there and finds out things that put his life into a different perspective.

Laura & Julio is a sad tale on life and people and their relationships, and the ease with which people can be swayed to change their minds about what and who is important. Good drama with a lot of reality to make you think about the strength of love and yearning.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Joanne has always been an avid reader and loves the ability to lose herself in someone else’s life for the time that it takes to read about it. She has a huge admiration for authors and the worlds that they create for us. She enjoys reading to her granddaughters and hopes that they take up the love of reading

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by White Night Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.