Weiss-Hardison offers a semiautobiographical tale of a romance begun by chance.
Ellen Weiss and Guy Hardison first meet on the campus of Michigan State University. Thirty-something Guy hails from Chicago; Ellen is slightly younger, has “almost startling” blue eyes, and comes from a small town in Michigan. Guy speaks of his time in the Strategic Air Command and Ellen explains her plan to become a librarian, and the two form a friendship. Although they go their separate ways and start families with other people, they manage to stay in touch through letters and Christmas cards. Some 20 years later, Guy happens to run into Ellen at the library where she works in Phoenix. Both are divorced, so they have the chance to be more than just friends. But as the two go from dating to marriage to running a business together, they confront new opportunities in life that neither imagined when they first met. Even as Guy and Ellen succeed financially, their relationship still has its difficulties. Overall, this is a realistic love story that details such things as the couple’s trips together, their troubles with employees (including one who keeps “stealing Ellen’s lunches”), and their acquisition of pets. Weiss-Hardison rarely wastes words in this brief work, maintaining a simple, honest tone throughout. The story also progresses quickly, even when it touches on mundane events, but the dialogue can be awkward at times, as when Guy compliments the library where Ellen works: “I like the number and variety of non-print items you have for people to either use there or check out.” Later chapters truly shine, though, as the difficulties of old age and changing personalities become more apparent.
A sentimental but unsparing look at the reality of relationships.