Noyes creates a captivating story that focuses on physical and emotional loneliness.
Celeste answers an advertisement that leads her to live in a habitat without physical or audible human contact for 3/4 years. She is deep into her routines when an unexpected visitor arrives just after the 3 year mark. She is afraid that this contact has broken the rules and jeopardized her arrangement. But Celeste is so deprived of connection, she considers allowing the stranger to stay in secret for awhile.
This is a very heavy read. Celeste is secluded for a long time and we get a lengthy view into what life is like in her habitat. The mundane, the repetitiveness, the desperation, and the hallucinations. The main characters’ pasts are filled with painful experiences. Thankfully we are just told about and not shown them.
At times, I felt that Celeste was too ‘oh woe is me’ and self deprecating but I had to keep reminding myself of the situation she has been in. That made interpreting her actions different than you might consider in other stories.
Above all, this is a love story. It was mostly predictable with exception to the length of time it took to have a resolution. Nobody will be able to claim it had an ‘abrupt ending.’ But I felt it. It hurt. Then kept hurting. I had a lump in my throat and glossy eyes for the last 1/4 of the book. Some of the scenes were so filled with tension, I could hardly stand it. The dialogue shines in this one.
I recommend to those who love romance, science, seclusion, tension, and Montana.