I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review. All quotes used in the review are quotes straight from the story.
This is not a thriller. Not a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat, up-all-night kind of adventure. There’s no baffling mystery racing the reader toward a big reveal. No plot-twists to spin your head around.
No, this is a slow burn. It’s a hit-close-to-home, a thought-provoker, a heart-warmer. It’s a realistic account of relationships: the new and the old, the fresh and the frayed. It’s a modern day fairytale. It’s a story “about nothing more than the simple passage of time.”
The story is cleverly told in a variety of ways. There is an unidentified all-knowing narrator, as you’d find in an old-fashioned fairytale, setting the scene and posing questions to the reader. There are Michael, ever the romantic with his “literary acrobatics”, and serious and skeptical Sharon, the one who prefers “getting to the really good stuff” straight away. They each share their points of view in a way that makes you feel as if you were all sharing a booth, sipping coffee at the local diner, sharing a “long, winding, aimless conversation-the kind you can only have with a best friend…” There are newspaper articles and journal entries, snippets of photography class lectures and radio broadcasts, descriptions of photographs and more. Fifty years worth of individual pieces arranged in a way that shows the complete picture.
I gave this book 3.5 stars. It took a while for me to get into the story, as there is a lot of information about photography and cameras, of which I have little interest. About half way through, however, I got invested in the tale.
The story takes place in Fairyland, a medium-sized midwestern town with a cozy small town feel. The characters are realistic, relatable, and full of personality and I enjoyed getting to know them. They learn and grow, forge new friendships, sever old ties, get to know themselves and each other, fall in love, and fall out of line. It’s a rambling sort of story, with no straight line to the finish, “the kind that went nowhere and to all the exact-right places at the same time.”
It makes you consider your own loves and friendships, and how the passage of time affects not only relationships, but every aspect of life. Time marches on regardless of our willingness to march forward with it. Happily Ever Afters aren’t set in stone and can’t be left up to chance. The seeds of Happily Ever After have to be planted, cultivated and nurtured.