“Alone With You In The Ether” by Olivie Blake

“Alone With You In The Ether” by Olivie Blake is another love story that I picked after reading “Spare” by Prince Harry. It was on my list for a while as it had quite high reviews and I finally had a chance to check it out.

I am on the fence about this book. I see what the author’s aspirations were – she wanted to write about love in a non-cliche, original, sensual way. I think partly she succeeded and partly not so much. But let’s start from the beginning.

The plot centers around two main characters – Aldo, a theoretical mathematician who teaches at the university and seems to be quite set in his routine, and Reagan, a docent at an art institute who aspires one day to be an artist herself but has her own set of issues. This two people lead completely different lives until one day their dates collide in a museum and their love story begins.

I enjoyed the first part of the book because I thought the the exploration of their falling in love was beautiful – how they got to know each other through six intimate conversations that could be about anything. I thought it was romantic, almost dated, outside of modern time where everything moves fast and if something is not trendy, just gets thrown away quickly. There was something soothing and comforting about the first part of the story. In the second part, the book lost a bit of an edge for me. I understand that the author was trying to add some dramatic development and suspense but I did not find it necessary or well done in this love sotry. Overall, it is a nice read but I was not quite impressed by it.


“The mind comforts itself by believing this to be coincidence but it isn’t – it’s ignorance falling away. Your future self will always see what your present self is blind to. This is the problem with mortality, which is in fact a problem of time.”


“It isn’t constancy that keeps us alive, it’s the progression we use to move us.”


“That I could study you for a lifetime, carrying all of your peculiarities and discretions in the webs of my spidery palms, and still feel empty-handed.”


“She’s confounding, really intricate. Infinite.’ That was the word, he thought, clinging to it once he found it. “She’d have to be measured infinitely in order to be calculated, which no one would ever do.”


“Art is loss. It’s the fleeting breath of a foregone moment, the intimacy of things undone, the summer season that passes. It’s the peeled lemon and bony fish in the corner of a Dutch still life, rotten and dead and gone. It’s him lying next to you, legs tangled with yours, only to know he’ll be a specter in your thoughts by next month, next week, ten minutes from now. This is what makes it art, Charlotte, and you’ve always understood that. You’ve always understood, above everything, that what makes beauty is pain.”


“Euphoria can be bottled, it can be smoked, it will dissolve on your tongue and burn through the vacant cavity of your empty fucking chest. His hands on you, that can be preserved, it can be painted, it can be committed to the canvas of your imagination, and it can stay in the vaults of your private longings, your little reveries, your twisted dreams.”


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