Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem--or what we hope they will be.Read more...
Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem--or what we hope they will be.
Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.
Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Friendships and relationships are tested by tragedy in this witty and insightful sixth novel from the author of Gods in Alabama and A Grown-up Kind of Pretty. Single mother Shandi Pierce is paralyzed with fear when she and her young son Natty are caught in the crossfire of a convenience store stickup gone bad. That is, until the dashing William Ashe steps between Natty and the gunman. Smitten by her erstwhile savior, Shandi buddies up to William, hoping their friendship can become more, but is stymied by complications in the form of Shandi’s disapproving best friend Walcott, William’s cohort Paula, Shandi’s ever-feuding divorced parents, and William’s own heartbreaking and as-yet unresolved past. With a deft wit and a series of stellar twists, Jackson creates a conventional love story that is also something more: an exploration of what draws people together, and pushes them apart; a commentary on faith’s ability to unite or divide; and a reminder that “death brushing past makes people hungry to connect to other people.” What emerges is a novel at once funny and touching, whose characters’ many flaws are overshadowed by all the ways in which they look out for one another. The final denouement of Jackson’s roller-coaster love story will leave the reader both thoroughly sated and hungry for more. (Dec.)
The folks in Joshilyn Jackson’s sixth novel, Someone Else’s Love Story, are in all kinds of trouble, but they don’t know it right away. The catalyst for self-knowledge turns out to be a botched robbery at the local Circle K—a gas station, for those of you who aren’t in the Atlanta metro area—attempted by a snaggle-toothed little punk who is promptly brained by one of his hostages.
That hostage is William Ashe, and his fellow hostages include a young woman named Shandi Pierce and her 3-year-old son, Natty. Most of the book is narrated by Shandi, the product of a mixed marriage of a fundamentalist Christian mother and Jewish father. Her son is the product of what she wants to believe is an immaculate conception; she didn’t lose her virginity till after Natty was born by C-section, when she begged her longtime best friend, Walcott, to perform the defloration. The trauma of the robbery forces Shandi to realize that her son’s conception could not have been what she thought it was. It also makes her believe she’s in love with William, her savior.
The robbery causes William to realize a few things as well. A scientist who looks rather like a Nordic lumberjack, he’s a touch autistic. The robbery happens on a painful anniversary, and he’s spent a year trying to push the memories of his now-destroyed family out of his head. Like Shandi, William, too, will find his attempts to avoid reality increasingly difficult.
The reader can’t be blamed for at first finding Shandi’s insistence that her lovely, brilliant boy is the product of parthenogenesis somewhat ridiculous. But as Jackson slowly reveals the truth about Shandi, we warm to her—and to weird, heartbroken William, his tough-as-nails best friend Paula, forbearing Walcott and even the dope who held up the Circle K. There are scenes that will make you gasp, pause or even tear up as Jackson’s characters fumble toward imperfect enlightenment. Someone Else’s Love Story will delight and surprise with its unexpected compassion, empathy and humanity.