Helen Gibbs, a British journalist on assignment on the west coast of Mexico, meets Christopher Delavaux, an intriguing half-French, half-American lawyer-turned-financier who has come alone to surf. Living lives that never stop moving, from their first encounter in Bermeja to marriage in London, Helen and Christopher must decide how much they exist for themselves and how much they exist for each other.
Thornton's Wall Street years serve A Theory of Love well. She captures the details of cross-border deals, all-nighter due diligence, tax straddles and currency swaps as astutely as she does Helen's growing disenchantment with Christopher's new client crowd ... a portrait of romance among the 1%. Yet it is pulled back to earth by the self-reflective, unpretentious Helen who centers Thornton's narrative.
Exotic locations may add intrigue and a sense of adventure to a novel, but rarely do they also affect the character relationships so fundamentally as in A Theory of Love ... What is most beautiful about A Theory of Love is Thornton’s ability to make us feel deeply through setting ... No matter how fractured their romance becomes, we feel the pain of their losses through elements as subtle as the sun’s light shifting over the land at sunset.
A Theory of Love is about the dissolution of a marriage caused not by spite but by negligence ... And there lies the biggest problem with this story. Notice I said this is a novel about the dissolution of a marriage, not the dissolution of love. Despite the novel’s title and Helen’s continued insistence, I’m unconvinced Helen and Christopher ever have much of a connection.