Wednesday, 10 October 2012
When I Fall in Love - Clint Morey
As she's about to make her final escape, she's caught by her father. But before any reprimand can be fully made, out steps Marilyn, her mother. Grandad Robbie has had a stroke. With such devastating news, the concert is forgotten (almost begrudgingly by Amy) and they make their way to Montana.
On their arrival they meet Aunt Susan, her mom's sister. Always competitive especially as she wants her daughter to do better than Amy. There's Uncle Charley, - a failure when it comes to marriage and then Bob. He's the ever helpful next door neighbor whose a cellist like Amy. The last time they met, over five years ago, she didn't think much of him and she still doesn't. But he's always around helping her grandparents especially as her grandma is suffering from Alzheimer's.
All seemingly with their own agenda Marilyn, Susan and Charley discuss what to do. With their Dad needing to rehabilitate after his stroke, he can no longer look after their Mom. But Robbie makes it very clear to them - he has always looked after his wife and he will continue to do so. Leaving them to argue, Amy is more concerned with why Joel won't say 'I love you' when she laid bare her heart and said it to him - somehow 'that's nice' isn't quite the same thing. Through the familial arguments and Amy's torment over whether Joel loves her she learns of how her grandparents met and how their love has endured the test of time. Being in Montana brings into question a few things.
It would be easy to assume that a YA short story would labor teenage angst But it is so far removed from it. Morey has painted a funny and poignant story with a graceful merging of a modern love story and one from the past. Amy is a beautiful and intelligent teenager on the cusp of attending Harvard but the ranches of Montana have more to offer than she believed. Bob, a likable teenager is hardworking and loyal. Both qualities that reflect her grandfather. Although her parents, aunt and uncle are in the background, the author weaves their discontentment throughout adding a big dose of reality to the overall picture They no longer see the love their parents share - just the cost of the medical bills. Does Amy follow her parents dream and head off to Harvard or will she remain to look after much adored grandparents?
What a great story. Hooked from the beginning, I was surprised at where this tale went. The author has created a believable family and his expressions and language used are spot on. There were some perfectly timed funny moments and this glimpse into the Burns/Prescott family left me crying at the end. Morey has managed to weave the past and the present together sending a key lesson - true love lasts a lifetime. A highly recommended read for young adults and adults alike.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique.