Life growing up in suburban San Diego couldn’t have been more pleasant for Violet and her twin sister Amber. With two loving parents and every opportunity in the world within her reach she saw nothing but blue skies ahead of her. But when her sister takes fatally ill on a vacation to Hawaii, Violet experiences the first of many pitfalls that come with life in the real world. Still Violet always manages to find a silver lining in every situation. At her sister’s funeral she connects with a boy named Dylan, a family friend who has also recently experienced loss with the passing of his mother. The two find comfort in their shared sorrow, a comfort they will carry between them for years to come. This comfort brings them together into their college years where Violet and Dylan’s relationship rekindles into a fully adult romance culminating with Dylan proposing marriage and giving Violet the titular Lovelock necklace and the promise to be hers forever.
Dylan’s promise maintains Violet’s positive outlook on life a few years later when she is living in Los Angeles and professionally pursuing the acting bug she caught while in high school. Unexpectedly, Dylan seems to be out of the picture. While on her way to building a relatively successful show business career a sudden psychotic episode during a film project gets her blacklisted in the industry and essentially ends her Hollywood dreams. Concurrently, Dylan returns to California from what was a deployment in the Peace Corps only to suffer a horrible motorcycle accident before he can reconnect with Violet.
Their subsequent unfortunate situations mirror each other’s despair – Violet’s descent into adult entertainment and drug addiction, Dylan’s descent into a wholly unhappy marriage. Yet through all their painful experiences they both hold onto the hopes and dreams they once made together. This hope is the driving force which helps both to finally manage shuffle off their personal demons and, in a powerful move of redemption, manage to drag themselves out of their respective mires and toward a final happy ending worthy of a Hallmark Channel movie of the week.
With THE LOVELOCK, author Chang-Lim deftly crafts what could have been a sappy formulaic story into an intelligent and involved tale of life and love. Taking the reader on an emotional roller coaster, the narrative at times plunges into the depths of the characters’ hopelessness, yet always offers that ever-present ray of hope that a positive attitude can always win out in the end.
Author Eichin Chang-Lim’s deep understanding of the human condition and the undue pressures oftentimes put upon it results in THE LOVELOCK, a thoroughly enjoyable saga of hope and destiny.
~Johnny Masiulewicz for IndieReader