Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cross My Heart - Abigail Strom

As Nemo's winds swirled around us here in New England, we had friends visiting for the weekend. The days were filled with sledding and shoveling, with nights spent playing games and watching movies. We all went to bed late, and tired from a day of fun. Last night, I thought I would read a chapter or two of a new book before falling asleep. Instead, I read Cross My Heart by Abigail Strom until about 2:30 in the morning, then woke up at 7 and finished the book. I just couldn't put it down!

Dr. Michael Stone is a workaholic cardiac surgeon in suburban Des Moines. His fourteen-year-old daughter, Claire, comes for her annual, two-week summer visit, and is less than thrilled to be there. As they pull into his driveway, Claire recognizes Michael's neighbor: Jenna Landry, guitarist for the defunct rock band, The Red Mollies. In an attempt to make Claire happy, Michael invites Jenna to dinner. During dinner, as well as the two week visit, Jenna and Michael help each other learn about themselves: finding strengths they didn't know existed, as well as how to handle weaknesses they tried to hide.

I was completely enraptured by the development of Michael and Jenna, as well as the relationships between Michael, Jenna and Claire. Both Jenna and Michael struggle with the balance between being independent and the awareness that their lives are better when shared. At one point, Jenna "wonder[s] what it had been like in the past, when people's choices - women especially - were so much more limited." Turning 30 was the hardest birthday for me. Like Jenna, I knew that I was changing, but wasn't sure what would be the end result of this metamorphosis. While Jenna's options are different than mine were, the desire to "have it all" is becoming more and more universal for women, and maybe even men, in our ever-changing world.

I give this book four hearts. It definitely is on my "read again" list!

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