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White Fur by Jardine Libaire
Literary fiction

White Fur

by Jardine Libaire

Quick take

Their love burns with the fire of a thousand suns, the way all first great loves do, and everything that transpires between them stokes that fire deeper.


From the publisher:

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore. 

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives. 

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.

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Why I love it

Star-crossed lovers lead completely opposite lives yet find themselves living next door to each other. Jamey is a legacy trust-fund kid studying at Yale; Elise a streetwise girl from the Connecticut projects with nothing to her name but an old white fur coat.

Their love burns with the fire of a thousand suns, the way all first great loves do, and everything that transpires between them stokes that fire deeper. Every word and every silence. Every sex scene (they are numerous and steamy). Every glance and every breath. It’s a kind of love that feels like poetry, and Jardine Libaire’s prose captures the heightened emotions of the young couple, with language that envelops you like you are floating beneath clouds of cotton candy. And yes, it’s true that sometimes her prose can also make you feel like you’re drowning in molasses, but that’s also part of being in love. Drowning.

Their love moves at the speed of a runaway freight train, from New Haven to New York City, and the book develops with that same intensity. As I found myself reading faster and faster, the intoxicating, maddening energy of their relationship spilled out of the pages and into my real life. My heart beat faster and faster, so much so that at one point I had to put the book away, not ready to find out what was about to happen in the next pages. At dinner, I could only talk about the book, relaying the story of Jamey and Elise to my boyfriend who patiently sat across me, as if they were real people.

White Fur is raw and powerful'”a love story where love conquers all, but still makes us wonder, is it worth it?

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Member ratings (3,202)

  • Tyler O.

    Chicago, IL

    Libaire's unique and romantic prose narrates a challenging relationship as it blossoms. The beautiful story tears into gossamer shreds as they race toward conclusion. An engaging work of literary art.

  • Jamie M.

    Lowell, MA

    Jardine Libaire's prose is amazing. Her ability to defamiliarize and reinvent the "star-crossed lovers" is impressive, believable and supremely well done. I would buy/read another of Libaire's novels.

  • Nicole C.

    Leechburg, PA

    This book was amazing, not only do you have that romance between the two characters but you also have this urgency to change.Both characters struggle with obstacles that they didn't think would happen

  • James G.

    Eugene, OR

    Libaire is a master wordsmith. every sentence was poetic with equal cruelty and beauty. I wasn't ready to leave the characters and wanted one more page. one more chapter. I couldn't put this book down

  • Dorothy H.

    Rye, NY

    WOW! I almost stopped reading at the start but I'm glad I didn't. Awesome New York story of two scarred people who grow and evolve individually and together in a surprising way. High recommendations!