Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Two Across

by Jeff Bartsch

This book read like a movie playing in my mind.  It's going to make a great chic flick with all the near misses of the main characters realizing their feelings for each other.

I like a story that isn't a retold variation of an oft repeated theme. Example in point - all the vampire novels floating around.  This is a love story (and I realize those have been around forever) but the setting is new and interesting.

Stanley and Vera first meet at a National Spelling Bee.  They are both precocious and awkward teens.  They meet a few times over the years but still the sparks don't fly.  Stanley's mom has  strong feelings about his future which includes an Harvard education and then a life in politics.  Vera's mom allows more leeway for Vera but there are still plans for an Ivy League school and a math professor.

As high school comes to an end Stanley hatches a plan to bring in some money that he can live without working for awhile and not have to attend school.  He has become sick of studying and determines that he wants no more of it.  So Stanley and Vera pull of a fake marriage.  Quite ingenious, actually but definitely fraudulent.  They never live as husband and wife but they go off to college, supposedly together, to continue the rues.

Stanley does what he loves which is writing crossword puzzles.  Vera starts to realize that she is in love with Stanley and, of course, Stanley has no clue.  Over the years they go their separate ways but discover that they can communicate through their crossword puzzles.  Vera is actually better than Stanley but she's not obsessed with the puzzles like he is.  She uses them solely to get in touch with Stanley.

I really liked this story although it made me sad at times.  If you read it, and I hope you will, don't be surprised when you get hit with the desire to create, or at least do, a crossword puzzle.  

1 comment:

Kailana said...

Sounds worth checking out. The cover is cute!