Set in the UK, Love’s Register tells the story of romantic love and climate change over four generations. Told by five members of the Lavender family, it begins in York, UK, in the middle of the free-love 60s, and ends with the night sea journey across the vastness of Oceania. The family voices, plus others, take us through generational conflicts in the 1920s, open relationships in the feminist 80s/90s and a contemporary late-life love affair. Led by a cast of varied, in-depth characters whose stories intersect surprisingly, with plenty of passion and humour, Love’s Register is a coming-of-age family saga and modern psychological novel that explores the way we live now.
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Rick Cross –
Bounding across generations to study the lives of the love-hungry, soul-starved, oft-parentally damaged Lavender Mob, Leslie Stuart Tate’s LOVE’S REGISTER keys on art and music: the music of revolution, the art of transforming love, heartache and familial bonds into revelation; psycho-spiritual truths physically manifested, beauty born of pain and longing, sculpted by memory’s imperfect lens and perfect recall. Tate’s lovely, searing prose – pondering the lives of three generations of one bumptious, fractured family – is at once ode and elegy, a fanfare to “simpler” days… and a gentle lament for the souls bruised by deep rocks hidden under those swells and crescendos. Whether it’s pondering devastating illness, the dissolution of a marriage or the unspoken years-long anguish of a heart occluded by prejudice and outdated mores, LOVE’S REGISTER fairly bursts with passionate studies of desire so often quashed by the dumb, mundane taboos of society, by the relentless, crushing sameness of everyday life.
There’s a beat-poet’s retro call to arms here, a fizzy, Kerouackian fight song for the human heart – had Kerouac lived to sing it. Tate observes the Lavenders’ glories and ignominies with equal care, combining the frank objectivity of a master painter and the patient, poetic affection of an autobiographer. LOVE’S REGISTER is a beautiful, note-perfect work of art.