I just finished reading Marisa de los Santos' debut novel Love Walked In. Though I was once a hardcore post-modernist clinging to the notion that there is no such thing as a happy ending (this side of heaven), I'm finding that age softens crusty edges. Ah, how wise I'm becoming in all my thirty-one years. Ha.
Anyway, Love Walked In is the sort of happily-ever-after fluff that I would have scoffed at not that long ago. Now I can admit (with only a little sheepish reluctance) that I adored this book. It's smart and funny with a sort of symphonic lilt that rises and falls from the first line to the last. (Ooh, did you like that description? Symphonic lilt? I brought my A-game this morning.)
Cornelia Brown is a thirty-one year old (maybe that's why I love her) coffee shop manager whose real life begins when a man walks into it: "...a handsome stranger in a perfectly cut suit, and, yes, I know how that sounds." Scorning cliche even as the entire book symbolically and thematically embraces it, Marisa pens a novel all about love and it's many forms--romantic, fraternal, and familial. It's warm and funny, heartbreaking and triumphant. Though a few loose ends are magically tied up (or cut off altogether) by the cheerful end, this is a fun, fast read that will leave you believing in the power of love. And, yes, I know how cliched that sounds. All the same, if you're heading to the beach for a little winter reprieve, I dare you to find a more uplifting and laugh-out-loud lighthearted read.