Synopses & Reviews
A two-sided look at modern love and lust by two bestselling writers at the top of their form.
Two rambunctious, romantic flameouts. One boring wedding. One heated embrace in a quiet coatroom. This is not exactly the recipe for true love. John and Jane's lusty encounter at a friend's wedding isn't really the beginning of anything with any weight to it; even they know that. When they manage to pull back, it occurs to them that they might start this whole thing over properly. They might try getting to know one another first, through letters.
What follows is a series of traded confessions of their messy histories, their past errors, their big loves, their flaws, and their passions. Each love affair, confessed as honestly as possible, reveals the ways in which Jane and John have grown and changed or not changed over the years; the people they've hurt, the ones still bruised. The ones who bruised them. Where all of this soul-baring will take them is the burning question behind every letter a question that can only be answered when they meet again, finally, in the flesh.
"This witty but self-conscious epistolary novel starts with strangers groping each other in a coat closet and ends with the beginning of a relationship. Baggott (Girl Talk) and Almond (Candyfreak) join forces for 'an extended power-flirt,' conducted through the snail-mail correspondence between Jane and John, two 30-somethings who meet at a wedding and almost consummate their lust before John puts the brakes on, wondering if it might be the real thing. Jane reluctantly agrees to take it slow, so John returns to New York and Jane goes to Philadelphia, where they pen their respective confessions revealing their erotic and emotional experiences they've both enjoyed a 'past littered with regret.' They are, in Jane's words, 'two low grade Romantics. Tough but susceptible.' By the time Jane and John meet again face-to-face in Hopewell, N.J., we know their backstories as well as their literary quirks. Sharp humor and insights into the modern psyche pervade the book, but not enough to make it add up to anything more than a pretense for hot scenes and spicy talk, a lot of sex and a little 'low grade' romance." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Keen insights into sex, love and coming to terms with one's own unruly imperfections. A winner." Kirkus Reviews
"The writing is piercing, funny, and emotional. Baggott and Almond's collaboration makes for a delightful and robust work that readers will not be able to put down as they savor every messy confession. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"The couple's distinct voices and push-pull dynamic are terrifically engaging. Grade: A-" Jennifer Armstrong, Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Steve Almond has published over one hundred stories and poems in publications ranging from Playboy
to Tin House
and a previous collection of stories, My Life in Heavy Metal
Julianna Baggott is the author of the bestseller Girl Talk, as well as The Miss America Family, The Madam, and a book of poems. She writes popular children's books under the pseudonym N. E. Bode. She teaches at Florida State University.