When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs--eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother--goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the caf�, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life.
Love Walked In, the first novel by award-winning poet Marisa de los Santos, is bursting with keen insight and beautifully rendered prose. Invoking classic movies to illuminate the mystery and wonder of love in all its permutations, Love Walked In is an uplifting debut that marks the entrance of an enchanting literary voice.
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 doppelg�nger 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.)
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Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Interesting Use of Voice
Posted December 28, 2009 by Becky , Tacoma, WAThis is the only book I've read by Maria de los Santos, and her use of voice was interesting to me. The chapters alternate between Cornelia and Clare. The voice of Cornelia is flighty and can be kind of irritating--lots of run-on sentences! Since the first chapter was hers, I wondered whether the book would ever demonstrate any maturity. But in Chapter 2, we welcome Clare--poignant and strong. Don't get put off by that first chapter--pretty soon you are hooked on both characters.
The book was a little slow to get going, and quick to end, though...I won't put any spoilers here, but I felt bad for Clare at the end. Definitely worth reading, though, some of the descriptions about the maternal instincts Cornelia develops for Clare make you go, "yes, it's exactly like that!" Definitely worth reading.
November 27, 2006
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