Don’t you love it when you start a book, and you think, I love this book, and then it finishes all the way to the end without disappointing you at all? Enter LOVE WALKED IN by Marisa De Los Santos. I don’t know how to share the premise of this book without giving it away, but I’ll try very, very hard. It’s about a woman named Cornelia who finds love – or love finds her I think, in far more ways than simply boy-meets-girl.
I was basically happy every time I had a moment to open the book again and read further the story of Cornelia and Clare, the two narrators in the book. It’s my favorite kind of love story, because love is everywhere in it. There’s friendship love and familial love and compassionate love. There’s totally unexplained but sudden love and the kind that grows and grows and grows from long ago.
I felt safe in this book. Somehow I knew the author was going to take me on the ride that was the story of little Clare without hurting me unnecessarily. It sounds like I’m talking about abuse, and I’m not – not in this case. But sadness – there was definitely that. The book had this beautiful mixture, though, of intense happiness like a fairy tale and very real reality. I didn’t always know exactly which way the story would go and what paths the characters would take, but I had a general sense of how it would make me feel, and it did.
As a teen, I admit it, I didn’t really enjoy reading about children. I felt they got in the way of what I always hoped would eventually turn into romance. (For instance, Davy and Dora in Anne of Avonlea. I love them now. But then, I just wanted Anne to go for another walk with Gilbert already and leave Davy for Marilla to scold). But every now and then, an author writes a child really beautifully so that – even then – I loved them. (For instance, Paul Irving in Anne of Avonlea. I still would have preferred more time with Gilbert, but Paul was a dreamer and delightful). And I think I would have liked Clare even then. I loved how fully child she was and yet how adult her decisions could be.
And then, as I mentioned before, LOVE WALKED IN references all kinds of delightful books and movies – and classic ones – so that it doesn’t date the book but simply connects us to it. I loved that.
This book was the perfect one for me to read right now while slogging through another round of revisions on my own novel. Because it reminded me that even if I don’t know all of the stories I want to tell. I know how I want my stories to feel, and this book was so that.
P.S. I also saw ALICE IN WONDERLAND this weekend, which also did. Have you seen or read things lately that made you feel just the way you hoped they would?