Book Reviews: First Love - Just Once in a Lifetime - A Memoir by Violeta Barrettcategories: Book, Love Letters, True Love, Mexico, International Love Relationships, Just Once, Love Story, Lasting Love, Solamente Una Vez, Corazon, Heart, I Corintians, Memoir
Violeta Barrettabout this book: FIRST LOVE is a memoir, a true story about a tourist named Violeta and her tour guide, Jorge, who fell in love in Mexico during its hey day, fifty years ago. The story was inspired by a dream that occurred 2 years ago, a dream so real, that each moment was relived as though it were yesterday. To Violeta, the dream was a passing, convincing her that Jorge had kept his promise, to love her forever.
In 1956, Violeta had gone to Mexico on a vacation to recover her self-esteem after separating from a failed marriage...a marriage that was never consummated. Little did she know that she would find true love and that it would grow stronger in spite of time and distance, kept alive by the exchange of love letters. But both lovers, believers in the moral imperative as did many at that time and even today, eventually had to come to terms with their principles and obligations.
• What inspired you to write this book?
• Who are the primary readers of your book?
From the comments I receive from readers, my story is universal. Both men and women can relate to it.
• How long did it take to write it?
Once I reread the 76 letters I had kept all these years, it took about a year to complete my book. I then also decided to publish it in Spanish as well, partly in the hope that if he were still alive, he might see it and partly because of its setting. Also, from a practical standpoint, demographically, there are many Hispanics in the US as well as Spanish-speaking people throughout the world.
• How did you come up with the title?
The title required very little thought. It was the first "real" love I had ever experienced. How does one know real love? You just know.
• Why did you choose this cover?
I knew I had to find something that could symbolize the love letters on which this book is based and the moment I saw the cover, I knew it was right. The red roses are the icing on the cake, for what else do red roses signify but love?
• What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me of writing this book were the love scenes. I had always been a very private person, but my editor convinced me that I had to detach myself from the story and think of the reader. Once I was able to do that, I realized that he was right. However, I was still true to myself when I wrote those scenes.
• Did you do research for your book?
Yes, I did do research for my book; the places visited; the copyright permission needed to use the lyrics of the love song; copyright permission to improvise some of the images on the greeting cards and stationery.
• Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, I learned that one can love so deeply that they forget all but themselves. They create their own little world, perfect or imperfect as it may be. Love, no matter what the circumstances, is still love. However, in the end, the reality of infidelity comes back to haunt the lover, destroying the ecstasy that was. I also learned from that dream fifty years later, that "True love never dies." Is it a redeeming factor? I think so.
• What do you want to say to your readers?
I'd like my readers to know that there is no greater gift than love. In our materialistic world, caught up in the world of "things" as we are, we forget what is more important and lasting. It is true that some loves don't last, others last a lifetime, but true love lasts forever.
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Other books by Violeta Barrett
Enchanting RomanceFirst Love, written by Violeta Barrett, is a love story that captivates from the first few pages. It tells the story of an young, naive woman who runs away from a very unhappy life. As the true story unfolds, Violeta blossoms into a woman in love. Love stories like this one rise above books fictional love stories.
You can feel the love between Violeta and Jorge mingle and fly off the pages into your own heart. This kind of love happens just once in a lifetime. This book will surely be made into a movie. I felt it right from the start. If you are a romantic you will love this book. [by Rosemarie Hurley]
True love indeed lives for everFirst love is a wonderful love story and Mrs. Violetta Niggel is a very talented writer, so heart felt, touching and very emotional. I wish that first love will soon become a successful romantic movie. My very best wishes to a talented new writer. [by Nabil Tawfik]
devingAlthough written mostly from feelings of one person in a twofold long distance relationship, it triggers memories and individual feelings within every reader of what was and what could have been a different lifestyle for the reader. This entertaining story initiates thoughts of what could have been. [by Joanne M. Dunn]
a beautiful love storyI first met Violeta Barrett fifty years ago while visiting Mexico enjoying a relaxing vacation. Little did I know that while there she had met a dashing tour guide that would sweep her off her feet and later become the basis of a beautiful love story. Along with Jorge's love letters, she has captured both the feelings of desire and ultimately the anguish of a relationship that could never be. But in the end, a "first love" is never forgotten. [by Georgiana]
a review by Alice OldfordPart travelogue and part love story, this book will touch your heart strings. It will likely trigger your own reverie about your first love. Enjoy the romance of Mexico as well. A great read!
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