Someone Else's Love Story (Hardcover)
William Morrow, 9780062105653, 320pp.
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
December 2013 Indie Next List
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
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Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.
Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.
Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.
Praise For Someone Else's Love Story: A Novel…
“Witty and insightful...a novel at once funny and touching.”
“An inspiring story of love, faith and redemption...All of the characters... are so vividly drawn, they fairly leap off the page.”
“That rare woman’s novel that is sure to please readers of popular fiction as well as literary fiction. A terrific pageturner!”
“Someone Else’s Love Story is worth reading, even studying. Expressions of love come in many forms, as Jackson shows.”
“Finely drawn characters make the miraculous plausible, from the opening hostage scene in a North Georgia convenience store to an ending that hits the mark of ‘surprising yet inevitable’ mastered and articulated by Flannery O’Connor.”
“A surprising novel, both graceful and tender. You won’t be able to put it down.”
“ Someone Else’s Love Story is never predictable, full of humor and heart and characters you can’t help but love.”
“[T]here is love at [this novel’s] heart… there is much to gain from a closer read.” (3 out of 4 stars)
“Joshilyn Jackson is a brilliant storyteller and has a unique gift of bringing quirkiness to her characters and a lot of twists and turns to her tale.”
“There are scenes that will make you gasp, pause or even tear up as Jackson’s characters fumble toward imperfect enlightenment. Someone Else’s Love Story will delight and surprise with its unexpected compassion, empathy and humanity.”
“This charming page-turner serves up a twist I never remotely expected, followed by an utterly satisfying conclusion.”
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- What does the title tell you about the story? What do we learn from the first line? How does the book's opening set the stage for the events that follow?
- “That afternoon in the Circle K, I deserved to know, right off, that I had landed bang in the middle of a love story. Especially since it wasn’t--- it isn’t--- it could never be, my own. ” Why could this story never be Shandi's? If it’s not hers, than whose love story is it?
- Everyone sees William as a hero for his acts during the robbery. How does William answer this? Would you call it brave?Why did Shandi have such faith that William would save them?
- Destiny and choice are major themes in the novel. What does destiny mean to William?What about Shandi?
- Shandi and Walcott have known each other forever. Discuss their relationship. How is it transformed? Why do we often miss the obvious in our lives?
- How do the religious references sprinkled through the story--Natty's virgin birth for example--add a deeper level of flavor and meaning to the book?
- Why is William angry with Bridget and not her "imaginary God"? When bad things happen most people blame God. Why? Why doesn't William?
- How does their meeting change both William and Shandi? Would you call their meeting fate or destiny or maybe a miracle? “It isn't every day he meets a girl who killed a miracle,” William thinks when he agrees to help Shandi. Why does her having "killed" a miracle so intrigue him?
- How do each of these characters' certainties and beliefs change when they are confronted by unexpected circumstances--the robbery, the fireworks, the DNA results, meeting Natty's father for example?
- The possibility of goodness and forgiveness are also themes in the book. Talk about how they are demonstrated in various characters' lives and experiences.
- How many different kind of love stories are in the book? How do they all intertwine?
- We're you surprised at the ending? Was it exactly what should happen for all the characters?