An affable dual memoir about catching up with the one who got away.
The narrative opens cinematically. An ambitious young American steps off a train in Germany with business in mind, but he encounters the girl of his dreams. She’s sitting alone at a restaurant, absorbed in a book. Enraptured, he interrupts and asks to sit with her. So begins Mettler and Law’s love story, which sidesteps romantic clichés because it’s a true story. Their connection encounters a combination of kismet and ill-luck—a mere year into their courtship, Law’s career requires that he return to the U.S. Though they thought their separation temporary, they build lives independent of one another. Mettler becomes a laparoscopic surgeon and mother; Law conquers California’s real estate and begins a family of his own. Their successes and misadventures are punctuated occasionally by poignant recollections of their past. A late and impulsive move to reconnect adds drama, and the authors are given a chance to explore—in a variety of picturesque locales—whether love can ever have a conclusive end. The book will charm readers for a host of reasons, including its dual narration by Mettler and Law, which allows their individual voices to come through and provides insight into their relationship. Law’s sentimentality is preserved, as is Mettler’s pragmatism; both enrich the account. Digressions from the romance itself sometimes push the book into esoteric territory, as with Mettler’s decision to trace the particulars of her renowned surgical career, but these diversions seem earned.
A detailed, real-life romance that attests to the endurance of genuine affection.