If you are in the mood for a tearjerker romance that is predicable and not too intellectually challenging, this book will suit you.
Lily Davis and her husband, Paul Woodward, were only married several weeks before he was called overseas to serve in World War II. Now it is late June of 1945, and Paul is due back on Independence Day.
Looking out from her porch, Lily sees fireworks and they seem to stir a longing in her. She goes to check out where they are coming from, and meets pyrotechnics man Jake Russo. And then the real fireworks begin! Jake is lean, hard and muscular (in his thin t-shirt). Lily is beautiful with “tawny trails of hair.” He has dark eyes; she has eyes like blue sapphires. His hands are rough, but his touch gentle; she is “refined but bold.” The electricity starts when Jake jumps on top of Lily to protect her from flying fireworks debris. Then he applies a bandage to her knee. For Jake, the feel of Lily’s skin is “rooted in his mind like a lovely haunting melody;” And as for Lily: “The feelings wept into her heart like a pat of butter on warm grits.”
Makes me think of biscuits. But anyway….
Lily and Jake are immediately drawn to each other, and spend a blissful two nights together. Lily thinks she has only found love for the first time. But in her small, Southern town with its conservative ways and her important parents, a choice in favor of passion over duty is not so easy to make. Which should it be, she wonders, and how will she live with her decision either way?
Evaluation: I don’t quite understand how this book gets to be a work of “literary fiction” instead of “romance novel” or just “dreck” but obviously this business is as foreign to me as a pile of ketchup on a mess of pancakes. …to paraphrase the author….
In spite of everything, I cried at the end. Yes of course I did! I cry at pizza commercials, for heaven’s sakes!
I feel relatively confident this book will be made into a gloppy, soppy movie with lots of beautiful pyrotechnics and beautiful actors and actresses. And it will be as successful as, well, as ice cream melting over a slice of sweet potato pie! But personally, I’m thinking I’ll skip the movie…
Published by St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books, 2010