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on September 21, 2005
Ellen Sussman has written a beautiful story. As an avid reader, sometimes I find a book that keeps my thoughts totally fixed on the story. This is one of them. No "wandering" at all!

The "lifestyle" of Blair is depicted early in the book pretty graphically. This is the only thing I would like to see changed - the author will soon learn to leave a little more to the readers' imaginations.

I will eagerly await her next book - let's hope there are many "next books!"
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on June 9, 2016
"On a Night Like This" seemed to start out promising, but unfortunately, it fell extremely flat. While having a generally typical plot ("golden boy" from high school falls for the outsider almost ten years later). I don't believe any of the characters were authentic, as their banter was somewhat cheesy and their conversations were dull. The main character fell too hard and too fast for a person she had said only a few words to her entire life. The only redeeming character was the daughter (Amanda), but even she could not save the book. The sex scenes were, to me, an extreme contrast to the rest of the novel. They seemed to show up quite randomly and were almost written in a language completely separate from the author's original voice. *SPOILER* I also feel that if you were raped as a teenager (main character), your attitude towards sex would be much different than hers...to only further point out, if you THOUGHT the man you were in love with raped your daughter, it would be beyond unforgivable (...and you wouldn't have called him to ask to use his cabin). With the situations at hand (rape, failing marriage, dying of cancer) I hoped the plot would have been more intricate and well executed. I did not get any of those things. While the romance between the two main characters could be considered "cute," and it was a fast read, I did not genuinely believe they loved each other (more so because the main character was dying). It seemed almost TOO perfect, as it were. Overall, I was incredibly disappointed as I had hoped for more authentic characters (that I could feel for) and a well executed plot (considering the amount of problems and areas to build upon).
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on February 11, 2013
After having met Ms Sussman, I wondered what types of books she wrote. I was pleasantly surprised. I finished reading "On a Night Like This" two days after my friends husband died of cancer. I was wondering if I would be shattered by the ending. Actually, I was very pleased by the progression towards death. I wish we could all have it this way. Love for a minute or a lifetime, is too important to miss. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in the book and keeping it real.
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on October 11, 2006
This book is a graceful collision between a cheesy newstand romance, a melodramatic literary novel, and hippie chick-lit. The premise is totally relate-able -- two former high school classmates, who never spoke more than a few words to each other, meet years and years later. It's a little hard to believe how grounded the main female character is -- she is dying of cancer, she is a single mom, she suffered a major trauma in high school. Yet she remains a happy hippie chef. I also had diffiult buying that the two main characters could fall in love so easily, just like that. They almost overnight went from strangers walking his dog together while she was in her nightgown and jeans to deeply in love. The daughter was also the usual jaded, hard-bitten, angry daughter. But, in the end, it kept my attention. So it was cliche -- but it did the cliches well.
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on March 2, 2005
What a marvelous book! "On A Night Like This" is anything but expected. The characters are real and heartfelt - complicated people who are fighting their way through a painful crucible. I cheered for them while feeling their sorrows. The style of "On A Night Like This" soars above - way above - the romance and chick lit it's been compared to. The mother-daughter struggles of Blair and Amanda are familiar enough, but Ellen Sussman infuses this relationship with some wonderfully wise twists. And Luke, while he earns his stripes as a jerk at times, makes for a worthy counterpoint to Blair's unvarnished emotion. The beautifully drawn California setting further enhances this sad but enveloping novel. This is a terrific read.
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on October 3, 2015
This was the first novel I have read of Ellen Sussman. It was mesmerizing and liberating to others that have may have gone through the trauma of rape. Very inspiring. I then ordered her books,French Lessons, and A Wedding in Provence, as I loved her writing style..
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on June 11, 2004
I cried through so much of this book but I couldn't put it down. 3 lost people found each other at a time in their lives when it was most needed. Blair, who is dying, needed to find true love for the completion of her life. Luke, who has recently been separated from his wife, needed to find unconditional and unselfish love. Amanda, Blair's 16 year old daughter, needed to learn to love someone besides Mom and to deal with the hardships of life. As the book goes on, the 3 of them bonded together in such a way that the bond would never be broken. I loved Sweetpea, the dog. She was the unselfish constant in all 3 lives and, as a pet lover, I know the importance of a pet's unconditional support. She was great!
I loved it and I think everyone should read it.
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on September 16, 2012
I don't mind 'sassy' heroines, even where they're overdrawn and romanticised, but this is just silly. The connections between characters are ridiculously implausible, as is the plot and many little details. (In a remote cabin in the woods, Blair 'presses a button' for self-administered morphine but the iv equipment must have just appeared and hooked up to her all by itself.) If you've had cancer or you're living with someone with it, and you're examining your own experience, avoid this book; it doesn't offer any insights at all into living with a life-threatening disease or learning how to die.
Get _Love Life_ by Ray Kuun instead.
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on March 21, 2009
Reads more like a screen play than a novel...Thinly developed characters,intriguing
plot line, lots of witty banter but never achieves any true psychological depth... Although
the story is a sad one the author uses humour to tell the story of two lovers brought together
by a high school reunion which neither attends....San Francisco is the backdrop and anyone
who knows that city will enjoy the intimate glimpses of certain neighborhoods....A good read
but don't expect great literature.
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on April 12, 2004
This is a wonderful book. It made me cry,yet it was so uplifting. Much in the style of Elizabeth Berg (Never Change).
It is the story of three lost people who find each other. Blair is dying of cancer. Amanda is her 16 year old daughter struggling with loss and then there is Luke the old high school friend who was nothing to her then and becomes everything to her now.
I highly reccomend this book. Good story. Loved it.
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