The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson So many of my friends on this site have raved about this book, that I was reluctant to read it. In fact, I resisted reading it for the longest time. Not so much because they were raving about it, although when that happens there is always the fear that the book will not be worth the hype. What pulled me away from it mostly were all of the descriptions of how the book was somewhat gruesome, but worth the read. "You just have to make it through the first 50 pages" they told me. I don't tend to do well with gruesome. When I finally read this book, I had to jump on the bandwagon for it.

The story centers around the relationship between a burn victim and a psychologically challenged sculptor. Yes, the story begins with extremely descriptive writing about how the burn victim got burned, and the excruciating procedures of his early treatment. I found though, that these were not the things that bothered me about this book. In fact, what was hardest to take at the beginning of this book for me was the detail about the central character's former life as a porn star and producer of pornographic films, and his cavalier attitude toward women and sex. That said, those pages were well worth the rest of the book, and in fact, I'm not sure that the book as a whole would have been as good without the hard to read parts.

The central character, who is never given a name, meets Marianne Engle while still in the hospital receiving treatment for massive burns over most of his body. According to him, she is obviously unbalanced, but in spite of that, he begins to look forward to her visits and the beautiful stories of love that she tells him. So much so, that he uses her visits as a bargaining chip with his doctor. Eventually he goes home to live with Marianne and there learns much more about her life, her illness, and eventually falls in love with her. In the end, because of his love, he makes the ultimate sacrifice for her. When I reached the end of this book, I just sat and held it for a while. That is how much I liked this story.

Although this story is essentially a love story, it is not one of the sugary sweet, Nora Roberts/Danielle Steele type stories (which I like, believe me). This story had quite a few more layers and levels that wove around two of the most unlikely lovers ever presented, which is what made it so satisfying over all.