RATING : 4.8/5
“Paradise” is a book which will make you make you not ‘sob’, but ‘cry’ really hard (**you have been forewarned **). It is a book about sacrifices, jealousy, heart breaks, but above all, about love – pure unparalleled love.
Judith McNaught has divided the novel into three parts – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It starts with a 14 year old Meredith Bancroft looking at her photographs, where she describes herself as a “flat chested troll with braces” (an intelligent troll nevertheless). Daughter of the millionaire CEO of Bancroft & Company, Meredith is always told about by her controlling father. When we meet her four years down the line, the young chubby troll has blossomed into a stunning, alluring girl. One night, after a particularly heated argument with her father, she meets Matthew Farrell at a country club event. Matthew Farrell (*heart throb alert*) belongs to a society which is in stark contrast to the one Meredith belong to. Even though he has no money, Matt works his ass off to put himself through college. He is everything except rich and elite class. When beauty meets heart throb, sparks flow, and passion roars (and Meredith is knocked up).
Judith McNaught is widely appreciated for the absolute perfection in her portrayal of the characters. In “Paradise”, she has outshined even herself. All 700 pages of the book have been written with absolute sublimity. When Matt and Meredith meet each other after 10 years, both are successful entrepreneurs, but detest each other deeply. Inevitably, Matt and Meredith keep running into each other. The skeletons of the past knock up on their doors, and they are paralyzed by the fact that they might have been punishing each other for someone else’s faults.
McNaught has penned down a heart-warming and brilliant romance. The characters share a stirring and tender relationship. They make you believe that true love has a habit of returning, despite all the odds. Matt and Meredith are surely not perfect individuals, but the way they love, care and protect each other is definitely a hallmark of perfection.
Here is an excerpt (enjoy):
“If you’ll kiss me back,” he whispered huskily, brushing his lips along the curve of her jaw, “I’ll make it six million. If you’ll go to bed with me tonight,” he continued, losing himself in the scent of her perfume and the softness of her skin, “I’ll give you the world. But if you’ll move in with me,” he continued, dragging his mouth across her cheek to the corner of her lips, “I’ll do much better than that.” Unable to turn her face farther because his arm was in the way, and unable to turn her body because his body was in the way, Meredith tried to infuse disdain in her voice and simultaneously ignore the arousing touch of his tongue against her ear. “Six million dollars and the whole world!” she said in a slightly shaky voice. “What else could you possibly give me if I move in with you?” “Paradise.” Lifting his head, Matt took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forced her to meet his gaze. In an aching, solemn voice he said, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want— everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.”
―Matthew Farrell, Paradise