Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too. (Via Goodreads)
There's a really romantic thing about love separated by distance but still struggling through. I know the premise is too good to be true...but, who doesn't like a little "romance" in their lives every once in a while, right?
First off, reading this piece was a breeze. Although there were instances in the middle when things got a little dragging... that very same weakness makes every meeting of the two main characters all the more electrifying. Smith managed to build anticipation which makes those meeting more special.
However, since this book somewhat focuses on the geographical locations of the two, I expected that the descriptions would also take you to where those characters were. But this books somehow fails on that department. I loved the alternate first POVs, though.
I know I have a penchant for all things depressing so it makes sense that my favorite part of the whole narrative (all subplots included) is when Owen and his father struggle to get on with their lives despite the gaping hole that losing his mother left. There's always this familiar pain of being left behind, that I swear there were instances when I hold my breath because of all the throbbing and the tightening of the chest that's happening. This kind of subplot hits home, so it's been a rather painful experience reading it.
But anyway, besides all that, this novel is light as light can be. Set in several countries, several places, this demonstrates that no matter how far away we are from each other, there's always this something that connects us from each other if the bond we've formed is special enough.
That one faithful encounter was magnified... which left me wondering if something like that could really happen in real life. I hope so.
Because that's what happened when you were with someone like that: the world shrank to just the right size. It molded itself to fit only the two of you, and nothing more.
Maybe it was possible that you could take someone out of their life and drop them in the middle of another place entirely and they could seem like someone completely different. But even if that were the case, she thought, it wasn't really that they had changed -- it was just the backdrop, the circumstances, the cast of characters. Just because you painted a house didn't mean the furniture inside was any different. It had to be the same with people. Deep down, at the very core, they'd still be the same no matter where they were, wouldn't they?
"You can't know the answer until you ask the question."
But there's no such thing as completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending.
...and it struck her as the truest form of kindness, the most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you.
When there was nothing but space between you, everything felt like a leap.
He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time.-------------
Maybe I really needed some light romance in my reading life just to purge out all the negative energy and my strange fixation to everything depressing. This was fun, anyway. :)