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auntieannie

auntieannie

Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

Beginner's Greek: A Novel

Beginner's Greek - James Collins Somewhat improbable that I would enjoy this -- built as it is on coincidences and unlikely events. But it was charming. And I think I was intrigued that it was written by a man. So much detail and nuance. Peter meets Holly on a flight. They have a great talk. She tears the title page out of the book that she is reading: Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann and writes her phone number on it. A couple of hours later, Peter discovers that he has lost the number and has only her first name -- no way to reach her. Years later, they meet again when Holly is dating Peter's best friend. Holly and Jonathan marry, and eventually, Peter marries an acceptable woman who he doesn't really love, Charlotte. At Peter and Charlotte's wedding reception, Jonathan has a tryst with Charlotte's stepmother on the golf course. Jonathan is then struck by lightning and dies. Holly is now free, but Peter is married. Charlotte's stepmother Julia is deeply affected by the outcome of her tryst, and turns out to be pregnant. She leaves her husband and goes off to stay in their country home in Paris, while figuring out how she will survive as an older single mother -- a woman who likes her luxuries, doesn't particularly like children, and has no career. When Charlotte, who was always tiresome to her, comes to visit her, some surprising things happen. Charlotte reveals that she knows that Holly and Peter are in love, although they have never acted on it. In response, Charlotte has looked up her old French boyfriend, a difficult but passionate man, and has decided that she should really be with him, but there's a problem of money. Julia then reveals how Charlotte's father has hidden their grandparents' inheritance from Charlotte and her brother and sister. Everything now seems clear for Holly and Peter. But Peter brings her to an important corporate dinner as an escort, planning to tell her that night about Charlotte's departure and his love for Holly. Instead, the head of the company is taken with Holly and begins to woo her. Peter feels hopeless. Then Holly's father comes to see him after receiving a letter from Julia, telling him that she has heard that Holly is getting involved with Arthur, Peter's boss but she really loves Peter. It still takes one more thing to push Peter into action: a letter from Isabella, the sexy bridesmaid at his wedding to 'Artie.' This turns out to be a misunderstanding, but goads Peter into action and he finally declares his love to Holly, and she accepts his marriage proposal. There's even an opening at the end for the very rich but nice boss to get involved with Julia and her son. So all's well that ends well -- except for Jonathan, who died, but seemed to get plenty of satisfaction while he was alive. So why did I enjoy it? Well, it was a bit outrageous, and yet somehow almost plausible. And Holly and Peter were very likable. It helped that I had the stomach flu and was able to dedicate uninterrupted hours to reading it, because it was long and dense. But it was a good plot and character driven story and almost whimsical, like the author was winking at you all the while.