If there is one thing that draws me to Carla de Guzman’s stories, it’s her uncanny ability to transport her readers to whatever part of the world her story is set in. She has the knack for describing a place, an ambience, an atmosphere, that enables you to live in that moment, even for a brief instant.
In We Go Together, I believed I was in Washington DC, in Bea and Claudia’s Noble Crowne stationery shop in Georgetown, with its quaint neighboring businesses, or in the pub where the two girls meet Hiro, Ben and Don for the first time back in college.
Her knowledge and love of art and the masters seep through this story, and so does her fascination for France.
The story moves from past to present and is written in two perspectives: Bea’s and Ben’s. At the start, the transition in time was a bit confusing because there were no markers or signs that the time has shifted. This was rectified in the following chapters, where flashbacks were written in italics. The shift between Bea’s and Ben’s perspectives we distinct at the start, but toward the end, became a bit blurred—not sure if this was because Bea and Ben are just too alike, or if it was just difficult to maintain Ben’s male perspective and keep it separate from Bea’s strong, tomboyish one.
Story-wise, Carla weaves a good one. Bea and Claudia’s friendship is a study in opposite poles attracting and sticking together against all odds. I like that Bea has a giant crush on Claudia’s married gay older brother, Leo. There was no mention about the name of his husband and their adopted child, but I would be interested to know their story, maybe in another book, Carla?
Bea and Ben’s love story is sweet. I love that they are the same height. My favorite scenes would be when they are forehead to forehead, close enough to kiss.
Claudia and Hiro are the classic perfect, beautiful people—Claudia, all blonde and pale beauty and Hiro, all Japanese-Brazilian hotness. There is the spectre of Claudia’s “dark days”—which is hinted at and lightly discussed, but never truly explained.
Don Franco is the ultimate antagonist—handsome, rich, with a beautiful deep voice and reputedly, a big “package.” He is manipulative, selfish and utterly without conscience. At times I don’t know what he wants to accomplish. Is it just to ensure Hiro and Ben never leave him? Is that why he was hell-bent on ruining Claudia and Hiro’s happy ending? But why put the girls and boys together again after all the years they have been apart in the first place? Why manipulate Ben and Bea into admitting their love for each other? I believe there is something more to Don that meets the eye. I’d love to see what his motivations really are, and see him meet his match, who will make him eat all his sage advice and sayings. Hint-hint, Carla!
All in all, We Go Together, is a very good read. Set in the U.S., with young and beautiful characters who are finding their way through life, this story takes you back to your college days and early to mid-twenties. Originally entitled, Sigh No More, when it came out as part of the #JustWritePH writing workshop, We Go Together will make you yearn for pretty flower prints, and young love & lovers’ quarrels and happy endings.
Grab a copy of the book when it gets released on January 19, 2016 on Amazon!
Carla de Guzman is the author of Cities and Marry Me, Charlotte B, both available on Amazon and Smashwords. Print editions are available through the author. She also wrote The Lady in Pink (#StrangeLit Fateful Turns), Driving Home (#TalesfromtheMetro), and Up All Night (#WriteBreakUpSongsAbout), which are currently all available on Buqo.