By the Book @ Rogers Memorial Library

Someone Else’s Love Story

“I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K.  It was on a Friday afternoon at the tail end of a Georgia summer so ungodly hot the air felt like it had been boiled red.”

Shandi Pierce has enough on her plate. She’s single-handedly raising her young son, moving to Atlanta to finish college, and playing referee for her constantly feuding Jewish mother and Christian father.  The last thing that she needs is to be caught in the middle of an armed robbery in a convenience store.  Then a tall hero, William Ashe, steps in to save the day, and Shandi feels that fate has finally sent her a soul mate.

But William has his own problems.  He grieves for an unthinkable loss.  And while he appreciates Shandi’s help, the thought of opening up to another person — much less falling in love — seems impossible.  William likes things to be a certain way, he likes order and predictability.  Shandi and three-year-old Nathan represent the antithesis of predictability.

Both William and Shandi have best friends who play important roles in this story. Walcott has stood by Shandi since the event that resulted in what she insists on describing as the “virgin birth” of her son. Paula has coached William through human interactions since high school.  His “autastic” way of approaching the world has made relationships difficult, and tough-as-nails Paula acts as his social translator.

Jackson addresses issues of family, faith, friendship and destiny in the character-driven Someone Else’s Love Story.  While she includes plenty of humor, the difficulties endured by William, Shandi and the people in their lives will touch your heart.  Jackson’s descriptive, quintessentially Southern language draws pictures that embroider the story with a strong sense of place: “still as a pond rock,” for example, or “discount talking cricket-bug.”

When you turn the last page of the book, you will feel as if you know these people.  And you will realize that for Shandi and William, love is not always what it seems to be, and that life can be full of all kinds of miracles.  As William says, “Miracle is another word for magic, and magic is only science unexplained.”

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