Looking for a Love Story
By Louise Shaffer
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345502100, 310pp.)
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
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In Louise Shaffer’s delightfully charming new novel, a hopeless romantic (and author adrift) searches for a happy ending—and decides to write her own love story.
After the success of her first novel, Love, Max—an irresistibly funny look at divorce as seen through a dog’s eyes—Francesca’s fictional saga becomes real when her sexy photographer husband bails on her. The good news is that Francesca gets custody of their apartment and their dog—an adoring scamp who has mastered the art of unconditional love. Still, a girl and her dog have to eat, so a desperate search for income leads Francesca to Chicky, a spunky, red-haired octogenarian who wants Francesca to write the memoirs of her parents, Joe and Ellie, who toured the vaudeville circuit in the early 1920s.
Francesca is reluctant to take the job, but Chicky’s tales soon lure her into a showbiz era as irresistible and unlikely as the love story that unfolds. As she re-creates Joe and Ellie’s story, Francesca reflects, with hilarious honesty, on her own childhood and marriage—and discovers how to put the pieces of her life back together in a way that redefines herself and the true meaning of family and love.