Love Starts With Elle by Rachael Hauck is a compelling story of love, loss,
hope and wonder. I enjoyed reading this contemporary story set in Beaufort,
a small rural town in USA.
It is also an inspiring story of an aspiring painter, Elle, and a lawyer who has aspirations
of becoming a writer. I enjoyed very much reading of the lawyer's scripts of his attempt at a novel
of a World War II romance set in the Aleutian Islands, when in effect, he was expected to be writing a crime thriller or a political thriller.
The book is a fascinating story of people and relationships, of Elle, her friends and family, including four sisters and wonderful descriptions of the hometown of Beaufort given. At first impressions it does seem quite a wholesome story to read. The home, the art gallery, the cafes which Elle and her friends frequented and an aspiring artist whom Elle at one stage gives art lessons to as she is trying to steer him on to a more moderate path as his paintings were a little too extreme for her art gallery which she had previously set up.
Circumstances can change and at one time Elle is without purpose in life and it does take her awhile to find her place in society again after the sale of her art gallery.
The characters give depth to the novel. The prayerful Miss Anna, always with a song of hope in her heart, who was an inpsiration and support for Elle. There was the minister whom Elle was engaged to marry and the lawyer who became a good friend, her parents, people in the art world and at the art galleries who could decide Elle's future in art with their critical reviews. Elle's romances are also
cause for reflection and it is this aspect of the novel which is quite inspirational. I enjoyed reading about her interactions with the people close to her in her community.
The descriptions of Elle's paintings are quite exquisite as is also the story of the book. It is well worth reading. There is a quotation at the beginning of the book by Georgia O'Keefe of expressing by colours and shapes feelings which could not be put into words. This expression conveys a sense of beauty and wonder and seems to be a theme in the book as Elle's paintings were really quite wonderful and full of beauty seemingly touching on the spiritual and magical.