"Stronger Than This" is an epistolary novel told through texts, emails, Facebook messages, and letters. It begins with a text conversation between Daniel and Martin, his boyfriend of six years, which has a tragic ending. It is followed by emails from Natasha, from the Survivors of Sorrow (SOS) group, to Daniel and Charlene, who has recently suffered the death of her girlfriend Samantha. Daniel and Charlene connect at the group and continue their relationship through a series of Facebook conversations. Natasha also prompts Daniel and Charlene to write letters to their dead loved ones, the only good thing to come out of their SOS meetings. After being rejected by their partners' families, both Charlene and Daniel receives comfort from each other and from other unexpected sources.
"Stronger Than This" is a very cleverly constructed piece of writing. Through their various forms of communication, we watch Daniel and Charlene go through the seven stages of grief: denial, guilt, anger, depression, the upward turn, reconstruction, and finally acceptance. The author has a great command of the language, making the mundane sound poetic. This was a touching and absorbing read. I look forward to reading more works by this author.
Warnings: coarse language, death, suicide, gay and lesbian themes.
I received this book in return for an honest review.