Review: Love Virtually

Love Virtually
By: Daniel Glattauer

My Edition:
Paperback, 265 pages
2010, SilverOak
ISBN: 9781402786747

From the back of the book: Leo receives emails in error from an unknown woman called Emmi. Being polite, he replies and Emmi writes back. A few brief exchanges are all it takes to spark a mutual interest, and soon Emmi and Leo are sharing their innermost secrets and desires. The erotic tension simmers, and it seems only a matter of time before they will meet in person. But they keep putting off the moment – the prospect both excites and unsettles them. And after all, Emmi is happily married. Will their feelings for each other survive the test of a real-life encounter?

I randomly requested this book from my swap site, Paperback Swap, and months later someone on Instagram recommended it to me. I actually forgot I owned this book (can you believe it) and was just recently asked again by the same IG user if I’d read it yet. When I thought about it, the title sounded familiar, and sure enough, it was sitting neglected on my shelf! I’m glad I picked up this book – it was a quick read and very engrossing.

Leo and Emmi are childish, stubborn, hypocritical and fantastically imperfect – they felt so real! Their correspondence started on accident and continued due to mutual curiosity, then deepened into something semi-inappropriate, due to Emmi’s marriage. Emmi constantly mentions her happy marriage, yet expects Leo to dote on her. They will rapidly send one sentence emails to each other seconds after the latest response, then ignore each other for days. The whole situation felt very human and it posed a question (at least for me) about what is really considered cheating. Emmi and Leo plot ways to try to meet, though they always shy away – Emmi constantly talks about her marriage, but also seems to think of Leo daily. It’s a mental relationship, but could it be harmful to her marriage? Glattauer made me feel for these characters – sometimes I was thinking about how frustrating they both were, other times I could really appreciate the connection they seemed to have. I was also desperate for them to meet, and yet, as Leo pointed out, it would completely change their relationship.

The ending of this book is FANTASTIC. I was shocked and couldn’t be happier! I will say, however, that years later Glattauer put out a sequel, Every Seventh Wave and right after I finished this I went on Amazon to read the synopsis and a couple of reviews. I wish I hadn’t. Even just reading the plot of the second book ruined the magic of the first ending – I understand why he put out a sequel, but I think this first book would be stronger if left alone. From what another customer says, the second book isn’t as strong as the first, and though it has good reviews, I won’t be reading it. I enjoy where this book ended, and nothing against Glattauer’s writing at all, I just want things to stay where they left off.

This book is short and well worth your time if you’re looking for something contemporary. If you’d read Love Virtually, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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