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“Heart-wrenching … James begins the novel with a foreboding quote from Lou: “This story ends with loss.” And while this is certainly true of Pagán’s tale, it is thankfully both more complicated and more satisfying than that. Relationships, both romantic and platonic, are in flux for all of these characters as they struggle to live without regret.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS
Is love destiny? Or is it a decision?
When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.
As the years pass, James’s dreams always seem just out of reach—he can’t finish that novel, can’t mend his relationship with his father, can’t fully commit to a romantic relationship. But after betrayal fractures Lou’s once-solid marriage, she turns to James for comfort.
When Lou and James act on their long-standing mutual attraction, the consequences are more heartbreaking—and miraculous—than either of them could have ever anticipated. Then life throws James one more curveball, and he, Rob, and Lou are forced to come to terms with the unexpected ways in which love and loss are intertwined.
Reviews for Forever is the Worst Long Time:
“A beautifully poetic reminder that life and love are often nothing like we expect but also exactly what we need.…The characters are complex and dynamic, yet flawed and relatable, and demonstrate the depths of our hearts and just how far we are willing to bend so we can make room for the love we know belongs in our lives.” —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick
“The author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences returns with a heartfelt novel about the perils of unrequited love. An aspiring novelist named James Hernandez falls for a novice poet, Louisa “Lou” Bell, who just so happens to be engaged to his childhood friend. He hides his feelings well until their relationship hits a rough patch and his deep-seated desires ultimately come to fruition.” —InStyle, “The Seven Best Books to Read in February 2017”
“Pagán’s bittersweet novel…deserves a wide readership among women’s lit readers.” —Library Journal
“A tale of love and loss, with some unexpected twists along the way…satisfying…heart-wrenching.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Pagán has created a story of two modern-day star-crossed lovers and the unconventional family they weave.” —Booklist
“Early in this bittersweet novel, we realize that the narrator, James, is speaking to a child about her mother, Lou, and his memories of her. He begins his story in 1998 when he meets (and instantly falls for) Lou. The only problem is, she’s engaged to his best friend, Rob. James swallows his feelings, but secretly pines for her as his own chances at romance and success pass him by. But when Lou and Rob’s marriage shows signs of strain, James can’t help but be a shoulder for her to cry on—and a mutual attraction is revealed.” —Real Simple, “The Best New Books to Read This Month.”
“Forever is the Worst Long Time is a gut-wrenching look into a non-traditional relationship. When life pitches a curveball, sometimes you have to … make decisions based on love. Because you never know what you may lose in the future.” —The Associated Press / Washington Post
“Camille Pagán’s writing is magic. From the first page, her characters have so much warmth and depth that they feel to me like old friends. I laugh with them, I cry with them, I root wholeheartedly for their happiness. And when my time with them is over, I’m just so glad to have had them in my life.” —Cristina Alger, author of This Was Not the Plan
“This is one of those books that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last page. Tender, funny, lovely, sad. It’s all of those things and plenty more.” —Matthew Norman, author of We’re All Damaged and Domestic Violets