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A beautifully-written, heartbreakingly twisty tale of star-crossed lovers, who may in fact, now get a second chance to be together, almost forty years after their original romance.

Sarah Carson Blackwell is sixty-ish, divorced, with two grown children, and is long used to living alone. (Note: well, not quite alone, as Sarah has quite possibly the best literarily-developed doggie ever, the long-limbed and graceful Bella, who has every bit as much personality as Sarah herself. This reader spent the first half of this story worried sick about Bella, who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in Sarah’s house, pitifully left alone, overnight and longer).

When Sarah unexpectedly runs into Warren, her old college flame and perhaps the only man she ever really loved, catching up may both resolve old misunderstandings, and rekindle feelings long held dormant for each of them. The only remaining issue, and a major one, may be that Warren, now a very successful architect, is also very much married, with one adult daughter of his own.

Without giving the plot away, Sarah, struggling with the realization that “the older you become, the more irrelevant you are”, longs for “a secret cocoon, made by the two of them”, as she remembers being held by Warren, “as though she was a treasure”. At the same time, Warren, feeling “his marriage wrapped around him like skin, close and tight”, can only dream of escape and rekindled beginnings.

Told with beauty, grace and quiet aching vulnerability, this story shines a light on love, in all its intricacies, tangled up with missed opportunities, meddling families, messy complications, the trials of aging, and the confounding of responsibilities, once freely taken on. Without giving the plot away, (no spoilers here), there are no easy answers for Sarah and Warren.

Recommended for lovers of fine-fiction laced with more than a touch of poignancy, this is a read brimming with a whole host of complex personal moral, broader ethical, and always emotional questions.

As the plot meanders and turns, hitting bumps that this reader found agonizingly difficult to process (someone is in need of a REALLY good wake-up shake here!), a resolution of sorts inevitably materializes. And it’s an emotional one, (only predictable late in the tale), that for this reader, scored high on the definite lump-in-the-throat test.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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