A recently divorced woman finds love where she never expected it in this novel.
Annie Curtis is starting over. After 12 years of marriage, her husband reveals he is having an affair, and Annie finds herself in a new apartment, suddenly single at age 38. A college professor, she gets encouragement from a friend to open herself up to a new experience, and Annie plans a summer road trip. She checks in at a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire, run by Bill Martin and Mark, a friendly gay couple. On her first night in town, Annie stops by The Bookstore, a popular bar and cafe, and is immediately charmed by a local named Katie. They flirt, and when Annie returns to The Bookstore for a night of women’s music, she becomes even more enchanted with Katie. The two women strike up a companionship, and it turns out that Katie is Bill’s niece. When Bill offers Annie a chance to stay and work at the inn for the summer, Annie says yes to the adventure just as things are heating up with Katie. Katie has her own history of loss and heartache, but the two women develop a strong bond, enjoying the weather, the town, and their newfound love. It’s only as the season winds down that a serious incident outside of The Bookstore brings Annie and Katie even closer. Now Annie must decide if this is a temporary fling or the beginning of a new life. Annie and Katie’s romance is as easy-breezy as their afternoons on the lake, which makes for a pleasant read. While the novel takes some time to shed its monotone narration (“Annie was beside herself for a few weeks”; “Annie taught on a semester-by-semester contract”), it eventually warms into a more natural pace and voice. Imhoff (Mended Wings, 2017, etc.) delivers some beautifully sensual scenes, but the couple’s sex life otherwise happens behind closed doors. The drama near the end brings some much needed gravitas to the pair’s puppy love. Lesbian stereotypes abound (leather vests, an Indigo Girls concert), but Katie and Annie’s love is as tender as it is real.
A charming summer romance that lacks depth but possesses heart.