Friday, May 6, 2011
Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison
Due to release this summer is Beth Harbison's latest novel, Always Something There to Remind Me. Harbison's recent success as a bestselling novelist is helping to bring her debut, Shoe Addicts Anonymous (2007) to the big screen soon!
Always Something There to Remind Me is about the life of Erin Edwards, featuring two parallel story-lines that jump between her teenage years during the 1980s and the present-day as a single mother in her late thirties. When Erin's current hot-but-dull boyfriend proposes marriage, Erin instantly thinks of her high school sweetheart Nate Lawson, with whom she broke up with after having a simple miscommunication. Of course, since Erin can't stop thinking about Nate, she attempts to track him down and makes a few awkward discoveries. Erin learns that in order to ultimately be happy, she must be true to her heart.
Always Something There to Remind Me is definitely Harbison's most touching novel yet. While the plot is not picture-perfect, the story itself is wildly romantic and endearing. The 1980s flashbacks are awfully repetitive and tiring at times as each chapter commences with heavy petting, crazy teenage sex, and endless "I love yous" -- however the end result is worth your while and you'll definitely forget how exasperated you were while reading these scenes. I especially like Erin's take on choosing to be a single mother and the concept of being alone and in love rather than being forced to spend time married to someone you're not entirely crazy about.
My favorite part of the novel is when the present-day Erin speaks with an elderly woman about the woman's deceased husband. The old woman remarks on how important it is to "try" many different men until you can find the one you can "stay" in love with. Definitely a true statement!
My least favorite part of the novel is the highly theatrical and unrealistic scene regarding Erin and Nate's "reunion" in present-day. No spoilers here, read the novel to see what I mean!
In addition to Shoe Addicts Anonymous, Harbison has written its sequel, Secrets of a Shoe Addict (2008) and stand-alone novels Hope in a Jar (2009) and Thin, Rich, Pretty (2010).
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