A young poetry professor debates whether to follow her heart or mind.
At the center of this novel is Miranda—a late 20-something, New York–based poetry professor who feels content in her life, if a little bored. Miranda’s quiet existence is shaken one Thanksgiving when her stepmother alerts her that Scott Cramer, an old flame and son of a family friend whom she once considered “her brother and best friend rolled into one,” will be attending the holiday meal that year at their house outside of New Haven, Connecticut. Scott had disappeared mysteriously from her life more than six years previously, after a tender romantic moment at her apartment—leaving Miranda to pine for him and question what went wrong. When Miranda and Scott encounter each other for the first time after years of separation, it’s clear that there are still sparks between them. But there is an added complication: Scott has a child, Lynn, and not many answers about where she came from and what happened to him years before. As Miranda grapples with old, torturous feelings of unrequited love for Scott, she begins a risky relationship with a charming Irish graduate student named Ronan. She also ponders whether she should sell out by making money from the Scrabble poetry she posts on social media channels instead of pursuing the path of a traditional writer. While there’s nothing weighty in this fun, lighthearted book in terms of subject matter, the novel includes plenty of steamy sex scenes as well as some unexpected plot twists and turns. Granett (Cars and Other Things That Get Around, 2014) also includes an intriguing, relatable human dilemma as Miranda tries her new “lightness” and “no strings attached” attitude on for size. The protagonist must ultimately decide whether it is smarter to listen to the warnings of her rational brain or simply allow herself to follow what feels right to her passionate heart.
An entertaining romance novel with an engrossing plot, a conflicted heroine, and a couple of surprising, poignant takeaways.