Sunday, June 29, 2014

'Forever Friday' by Timothy Lewis

Forever Friday: A Novel After a devastating divorce leaves Adam Colby heartbroken, he is not sure how he can put the pieces of his life back together. He wonders if even God can make sense of the mess that remains-until a package of mysterious postcards that direct Adam to the story of Gabe and Huck Alexander. Drawn by her desire to find a true soulmate, Pearl "Huck" Huckabee breaks a turbulent engagement with her fiancé to marry Gabe Alexander, a man she's known just a few short weeks. Wanting to celebrate and protect their love, Gabe mails her a meaningful postcard every week-beginning in 1926-for the next sixty years. Designed to arrive on Fridays, each postcard not only contains an original poem, but holds precious truths, the sum of which answer the universal question: what makes a marriage last? As Adam begins to uncover the Alexanders' secret, he records Gabe and Huck's extraordinary romance. It's a process that will change his life forever.


This struck me as a very different novel from the norm, but at first I couldn't figure out why. After some thought, I decided it was because of the instant, intense 'love-at-first-sight' theme between Gabe and Huck, the two main characters. I'd just finished reading a string of novels in which the romantic duo were antagonistic toward each other until the plot drew warmer feelings out of them. As that scenario may be what we come to expect from romances, I was wondering why 'Forever Friday' seemed to work. I've heard stories of love at first sight in real life, but would have expected it to come across as a bit bland in a story context, without the emotional drive to keep us wondering how they will end up together. In a way, we had it handed to us on a platter. Boy meets girl when he serves her at a fish market, and wow, sparks fly. What's the fun in reading that?

It's very well written as a historical story. The details of life in that 1920s flapper/jazz period made me feel drawn straight into that decade, especially its colourful, fun aspects. In some ways, it's more like reading the fond biography of somebody's grandparents rather than a novel.

Perhaps our interest is maintained by the other main character, Adam, whose story takes place in a later time period. He's a recent divorcee, still caught up in sadness and regret, who discovers a pile of old postcards which reveal Gabe, Huck and their love story. The intrigue comes as we wonder what he's going to do with this historical find, and how he'll let it shape his life. I was definitely wondering what he was going to learn from this old couple.

I'm certainly glad I read it, as it challenges me to think outside of the box when it comes to the appealing factor without relying on normal story structures we may be accustomed to.

Thanks to Net Galley and Water Brook Multnomah Publishers for my review copy.

3.5 stars

Forever Friday: A Novel available from Amazon

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