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Love Walked In Paperback – November 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Philadelphia cafe manager Cornelia Brown drifts effortlessly through her unattached life, unapologetic for idealizing romance and breathlessly recommending The Philadelphia Story—to the reader and everyone else. Eleven-year-old Clare is a child of divorce whose mother, a successful party planner, is quickly going to pieces. In alternating chapters of Cornelia's first person and Clare's free and direct third, poet de los Santos, making her novel debut, tells the story of their finding each other. That Cornelia, early on, immediately falls for Cary Grant doppelgänger Martin Grace is no surprise; his relation to Clare, revealed a third of the way in, isn't really either. As she discovers maternal instincts she wasn't sure she had, Cornelia works up the courage to face her own feelings for Clare with honesty. As Martin exits, Cornelia's childhood friend Teo enters, but neither makes much impact, and Clare's rather serious issues get reduced to Clare-did-this, Clare-thought-that episodes. The two main characters exist for one purpose: to enact a cross-generational, strong-but-vulnerable-and-loving, screenplay-ready femininity. Chick lit? You bet: with rights sold in at least eight countries, and, indeed, to Paramount—Sarah Jessica Parker will star and coproduce with Sideways's Michael London. The book is fine, but for this property, it's a case of waiting for Carrie to walk in. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cornelia is a single thirtysomething who lives her life like a series of movie moments. She's a manager of a cafe because she hasn't figured out anything better to do. Her ideal man is Cary Grant. And just when she thinks he'll never show up, he does, in the form of Martin Grace. What she doesn't know is that Martin, with his cool charm and debonair demeanor, has a daughter, Clare. And she never would have known that except that Martin, in a state of panic, shows up with the girl at the cafe after her mother had a breakdown and left Clare to fend for herself. Estranged from his daughter for years, Martin doesn't know what to do with her. Both women's stories are told in alternating chapters, Cornelia's in first person, Clare's in third. This is a first novel with some wonderful and heartbreaking moments scattered throughout, along with some moments that are purely contrived for the forward movement of the plot. Overall, it is a sweet story about knowing what you love and why. Carolyn Kubisz
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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SPOILER: can we talk about how weird it was that Theo and Cornelia end up together and everyone is so chill about it? Seriously?!!! Also, Theo was just...too perfect. Too in love. Too smitten...Cornelia was always ever just so NORMAL. I love a "regular girl" kind of MC, but this was just...unbelievable. It felt a little like an adult version of Twilight, where it was almost impossible to suspend disbelief to believe this love story would, in fact, happen. When Cornelia springs the whole, "I want to have a baby immediately...with you." line to Theo, I literally rolled my eyes...because, of course, Theo was fine with this crazy-ass line. I don't know. There were things I really liked about the story, but Marisa de los Santos just went a little too shimmery-golden-perfect for Cornelia. If you like the kind of plot where everything works out just unbelievably well, you'll enjoy this book. If not, this story is so sweet it might give you a toothache.
It's not surprising she is drawn to this beautiful man who walks into her coffee shop. He strikes her as the most Cary Grant kind of man she has ever seen. You see, Cornelia is captivated by the actors in the old black and white movies. Martin fits the mold. He looks the part and is strangely alluring.
Love Walks In is a great story that you won't want to read quickly. There is much to learn about the characters in this book. They have depth and well thought out conversations that in the end have more meaning about the way the people relate to each other. One of these characters is a child who needs a mother because she is watching hers slowly disappear. Clare at 8 years old has to consider how she can survive in her world without anyone finding out that something terrible is going on with her mother.
I recommend this book to anyone who has loved or been loved. The characters are complex and easy to care about. The story lines are interesting and well thought out. There is no graphic sex, language or blood and guts. This speaks well of an author who can advance her story without taking the easy way out.
This one had some big disappointments, like the sordid family connections that go right over your head if you read the second one first.
Kind of spoiled the sequel for me.