The Element of Coincidence

Recently, I watched a made for TV movie that had been recommended by a friend. I’m not revealing the title since it’s not important (think Hallmark) but rather will tell you one of the many things that I found annoying. The story moved forward until the sappy conclusion was reached by the most unrealistic coincidence. I hoped against hope that I would be wrong and the movie wouldn’t go there, but it did.  Even though we all know that coincidences do happen in life when they are used as artistic mechanisms to support an otherwise unsupportable premise, it can be disconcerting.

I bring this up because coincidence plays a large role in Marisa de los Santos book Love Walked In: A Novel. But, in this case, it’s effective and useful as it winds itself through her beautiful, poetic and realistic prose. This is so much more than your standard romance or love story largely because her choice of words are spot on. They can make you cry and  they may make you laugh because her language is artful and poetic. Her characters are realistic and once you figure out what’s going on, you can’t help but root for each of these people to pick up the pieces of their lives and live happily ever after.

Cornelia, a single cafe manager in her 30s, has a wild affection for old romantic movies and expects that one day her leading man will appear. When Martin, the sophisticated handsome business man, walks into the shop, he turns her world upside down and sweeps her off her feet. But there is so much more going on than this budding romance.

Claire, the terrified and gifted young girl whose mother is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, gets some needed friendship from Cornelia and Teo, Cornelia’s long time friend and brother-in-law. The story moves through alternating chapters in Cornelia and Claire’s voice and dramatically adds to the character development. It’s hard to put a finger on what is so charming about this story but it is certainly one that you will be recommending to your friends.

Try it if you are looking for engaging characters and you are in the mood for something  light and hopeful. I know you will bond with the characters and then will want to read the author’s next book, Belong To Me: A Novel.

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