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The honesty behind A Brush with Love
May 2, 2022
“A Brush with Love” is Mazey Eddings’ first novel. The story follows Harper Horowitz, who is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes into Dan Craige. Despite their clear connection, Harper is determined to focus on school and not on her feelings. Dan, on the other hand, is not as focused on dental school because he does not share the same passion for it as Harper does. Dan does find himself finding any opportunity to see and speak to Harper even if that means over schoolwork. As feelings start to intensify, Harper fears she is losing control of her life and her focus is shifting. The question is: are her feelings for Dan strong enough for her to relinquish some control, or will her need for control ruin their chances of a relationship?
For this being Eddings’ first novel, it is written very well. This novel made me laugh, smile and take a moment to think. Harper’s character development is a powerful one and Dan’s overall personality is easy to fall in love with.
The romance of this book is cute but predictable. Harper and Dan have a cute meeting but go through the motions of a typical romance book. Eddings does write it, so it switches perspective which I love. I love being able to get into the mindset of both characters and for this story I believe you need it.
The aspects of this book that really make it a good book are everything beyond romance. Harper deals with sexism in her field of study from other students in her classes and people she works with for her field of study. Eddings does not shy away from this. I have read other books that deal with sexism but unlike those, Eddings also illustrates what can happen when other men step in to try to fix the situation. Harper has to teach Dan that men stepping in to be the protector is not always what women need. This is a real thing that I feel is not often spoken or written about and Eddings did it wonderfully.
This novel also does a great job addressing family guilt and responsibility in a way that feels real and relatable. The issue affects Dan and does not get solved easily. I feel that in some novels, authors introduce these issues then have them be solved easily and that is not realistic. Eddings does not do this with all the problems she introduces she creates real solutions for.
Now, the aspect of this book that really made me appreciate it is how Eddings handles Harpers’ anxiety disorder. As a person with anxiety, I am critical when authors add anxiety as a character trait for their characters. Anxiety is often not viewed as a serious disorder and is viewed as something people simply must get over. Anxiety is more than just feeling uncomfortable or anxious around other people or doing certain things, it’s controlling and overwhelming. It’s so much more than nail-biting and sweaty palms.
Eddings talked about anxiety in a real way. She addressed how some people are ashamed of it and try to hide their reactions. Harper is embarrassed by her anxiety and tries to hide it from everyone. Harper is written with internal and external reactions to her anxiety. She has anxious ticks and harmful inner dialogue which I can relate to. Harper’s anxiety also does not simply go away as if it is something that can just disappear on its own.
I also love how Eddings writes other people’s responses to Harpers anxiety being that is something people have to deal with as well. I feel as though Eddings wrote anxiety in the right light, and it was refreshing.
Overall, I found this book to be very good. It is a short and sweet read that leaves you feeling happy.
“For all my anxious angles and worry warriors. Don’t let the monsters get you down.” -Mazey Eddings.