An unexpected journey through the past leads a woman to reconnect with her present in Walls’ (One Page Love Story: Share the Love, 2015, etc.) novella.
In a New York City hotel room, Angie Hart sits talking on the phone to her husband while he pages through their wedding album. The conversation is disjointed; they each occupy different emotional spaces, and Angie feels unsettled. During their call, the hotel manager unexpectedly shows up with a card embossed with a snowflake illustration and containing a mysterious message: “Do you remember falling in love? St. Dymphna’s, 9 P.M.” This sends Angie on a scavenger hunt through Manhattan, chasing down other clues, all marked with similar snowflakes. The quest leads her to bookstores and bars, and each stop conjures memories of her romantic past and the various men who defined her life—Teddy, her college sweetheart who broke her heart; Charles, the charmer who found it impossible to let her go; and Geoffrey, the young man from Michigan who talked his way into her heart and eventually became her husband. Angie visits her old haunts, desperate to discover who’s leading her on this journey through the city and what the result of this magical night will be. Walls’ captivating story jumps between past and present as Angie wades through her memories and puzzles out where to go next. Although the jumbled chronology is initially confusing, it’s ultimately effective. It’s intriguing to accompany the protagonist as she slowly rediscovers the beauty of New York City and finally comes to terms with the pain of her past relationships. Walls offers astute observations along the way; when Angie discovers a lover’s cellphone, for instance, she feels the “sense of disconnect when she is without her phone, magnified ten times by having his,” and the feeling of unease in this moment is immediately relatable.
A charming portrait of modern relationships and a touching tribute to Manhattan.