CBR11 BINGO: PAJIBA BINGO! (Remix Corner to Cannonballer Says Corner)
I think it’s often easy to overlook books that, on the surface, seem like easy reads or the reading equivalent of a rom-com movie. Books that get characterized as “beach reads” or “kissing books” are easily pigeonholed as entertaining romances devoid of any gravitas. I know there is a strong contingent of Cannonballers who are devout romance readers, so I’m probably preaching to the choir here. You can’t always judge a book by it’s cover, right? Not that I have anything against a little frivolous romp, but it’s nice sometimes, to get a little more than you expected from a book.
When titles start popping up on my radar, I try REALLY hard not to read too much beyond a sentence or two about them and absolutely avoid reading entire book jackets. Reviews, quotes and book jackets can get pretty spoiler-y anymore. I didn’t know very much about this book beyond the fact that it was about a widowed woman who rents an apartment to a “washed up” major league pitcher who lost his mojo. I’m glad that was all that I knew about it.
After her husband’s sudden death, Evvie Drake is living alone and rarely leaving her house that is both too big and too full of memories. When her best friend, Andy, asks her to rent the apartment behind her house to his childhood friend, Dean, Evvie is grateful for the extra income. Dean, a disgraced former baseball pitcher, is looking for a quiet place to sort out his life away from New York and the constant hounding of reporters. Small town Maine seems like just the place to clear his head.
Here is where the “kissing” book kicks in, obviously. The witty banter between the characters is perfectly written. The small town, it’s people and their relationships just feel, well, genuine. But this book is so much more than romantic small town Maine, smoldering looks and smooching. Holmes tackles big issues like self identity and emotional abuse. Both Evvie and Dean struggle with what everyone thinks about them versus who they really are. For Dean, it’s strangers that pass judgement: sports fans and the media. For Evvie, it’s family and friends from the hometown she never left and the high school sweetheart that she married. Other people’s expectations can cast a very long shadow.
It will most likely show up in movie form and I’m here for it. I imagine it will be awesome and nestled in my heart somewhere between “Bull Durham” and “Baby Boom.”