A contemporary tale focuses on two sexagenarians who reconnect via the Internet before their 50th high school reunion.
In this debut novel, Joseph and Grudin have crafted a love story that is told entirely through emails. The book opens with the text of an email wherein the protagonist, Adam Wolf, explains to his friend Paul Bishop that he has received an invitation to his 50th high school reunion. Adam ponders questions of mortality and aging in the lengthy email to his dear friend, themes that are prominent throughout the volume. Finally, Adam reveals that the impending reunion has led him to reminisce about his high school sweetheart, Sarah Ross. A couple of months later (as evidenced by the dates on the emails), Adam works up the nerve to email Sarah and ask why her name does not appear on the roster of those attending the reunion. Sarah writes back immediately, clearly pleased to hear from her old flame. Very quickly, an intense email correspondence ensues. After catching up on where life has taken them in the decades since graduation, they quickly fall into a near-obsessive back and forth. Adam and Sarah reveal that they have significant others in their lives as well as complicated pasts. Even so, the connection from their teens returns strongly through their correspondence. Although they live thousands of miles apart, the two grow increasingly serious, each considering risking everything for the other. Through its modern epistolary style, this book tells a poignant story about the emotional pain and physical discomfort that come with confronting old age. The characters, repeatedly surprised by their own appearances, are still struggling to come to grips with the fact that their youth is long gone. At one point, Sarah writes Adam: “ ‘Elegant’ is never a term sent in my direction. My mascara runs. Every new blouse has a stain on it by lunchtime. With me, you’ll be trading down. I’ve been cut and pasted and recombined with one botch after the other. I mean it.” Filled with nostalgia and a kind of morbid resignation, the tale explores the ideas of reawakening and unlikely second chances.
A witty, complex love story about a late-in-life romance.