Book: Before We Were Strangers
Author: Renee Carlind
To the Green-eyed Lovebird:
We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.
You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.
We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.
Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…
I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.
After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?
Review: This book started off GREAT. Matt, a divorced National Geographic photographer in his mid-30s, sees his old college girlfriend (they lost touch years before) on a moving subway train. Unable to find her on social media, he places an ad in a local paper where people try to lost connections.
Told in alternating narratives and timelines, we meet Matt and Grace at NYU while they build a friendship that eventually blossoms into more and Matt and Grace in present time trying to create a new normal with each other as adults. I really enjoyed their college timeline. I felt their relationship was very real and sweet. The book wasn't as interesting in the present day timeframe and while I really liked Grace, I was not a fan of Matt. I really did not like how he responded to Grace's "surprise" and I was waiting for him to call out his ex-wife for her actions...and I was not satisfied with how he addressed that.
Overall, I liked it.
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