Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 8/18/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Talented Rene Carlino delivers a breathtaking contemporary love story BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS, one of missed connections, and fifteen years later, a second chance---from time, distance, and life. Can these two find their way back? A moving story of love that spans fifteen years of separation.
“Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday--Khalil Gibran
Matt and Grace met at NYU over fifteen years earlier. They start out as friends and their newfound relationship falls into love. Barely making it with little money, they found their happiness with small little things, being carefree and spontaneous.
However, when they finish school, Matt, a photographer receives an opportunity with National Geographic, taking him away from Grace. Grace has majored in music, she also has an opportunity travel with an orchestra for a year and a half.
As most couples, they think they can make it work and stay together long distance. They lost touch in the summer Matt went to South America. When he came back, she was gone; to travel and see the world.
"Time passes, life goes on, places change, people change.”
Matt cannot get Grace off his mind after seeing her on the subway one day. A Wednesday, waiting for the F train. He did not know it was Grace until it was too late, and she was gone. He knows she said his name, he saw it on her lips. He tried to stop the train; so he could reach out.
Five weeks after seeing her, in a quick glance on the subway, he found himself looking for Grace, going to their old haunts in the east Village and even hung around the NYU dorm rooms where they had lived. What was her life, like now?
With all the technology, web, and social media out today he decided to pull up a Craigslist on his computer. Something called “missed connections.” You can post about an experience and hope they find it. You write where it happened, and what you were wearing, so the other person knows it’s you. He does so and leaves his phone number.
Flashing back and forth from today to fifteen years ago, we learn about when Grace and Matt met. We hear from both, and how each changed one another. The, what ifs? Does everything seem better in a memory? The past does not belong to them anymore and the future is just a fantasy, never guaranteed. But the present is theirs, to own. They have to embrace it. They have to re-create what they once had. They met at the wrong time.
The Green-eyed Lovebird. Grace’s student tells her about a post on Criagslist. She knows it has to be Matt, meant for her. Matt is now working for a magazine and Grace teaching high school music classes in the same city, living close to one another. However, there are complications, secrets, betrayal and shocking news. Can they forgive one another and find their way back?
A beautifully written, poignant love story with well-developed characters drawing you into a world of young love, lost love, reconnected and adult love—with all the flaws, loss, heartbreak, insecurity, passion, jealously, fears, and emotions.
In the theme of Jennifer Weiner’s, Who Do You Love, second chances for love lost. Chick-lit and romance fans will be glued to the pages of talented Carlino’s contemporary look at love from both sides. Sometimes you can go back and possibly it may just be sweeter, the second time around, if you are lucky enough.
A “love, interrupted” story inspired by a real Craigslist missed connections post about a guy who sees the “girl who got away” on an NYC subway after fifteen years.