Any single person with a heartbeat taking a seat on an airplane has probably wondered the same thing as Peter Russell, the main character of BEGINNER’S GREEK by James Collins: Will someone attractive sit next to me, and will we fall in love?
In most cases, the answer is no.
But in novels, anything can happen. The beautiful person who sits next to you can even give you her phone number. And you can lose it. And then you can meet her again a few years later when—wait for it—she is dating someone else and—OMG, no!—that person is your best friend. And then… well, let’s just say that lots of things can happen.
The beauty of good novels is not just that anything can happen in them, but that even when the wildest things happen, they seem plausible. And when happy things happen in spite of everything else, we find ourselves filled with hope.
If you enjoyed THREE JUNES by Julia Glass, THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB by Karen Joy Fowler, or, of course, anything by Jane Austen herself, you will probably love this book as much as I did. It is particularly enchanting if you are flying; in a sense, this book is exactly the person that you want to sit with.
PS—This is James Collins’s first novel (written in 2008 when he was 49); I cannot find any skinny yet on when the next one will appear. But I can guarantee I will buy it.