Friday, January 16, 2015

The Geography of You and Me

Smith, Jennifer E. 2014. THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME. New York: Poppy / Little Brown & Co.

After Proxy, which I found to be overly depressing and violent, I needed a respite. So I chose a book I'd had my eye on for a while that seemed decidedly romantic. 

The Geography of You and Me centers on the unlikely meeting of Lucy and Owen in a New York City elevator during a blackout. Lucy is the daughter of wealthy parents who own an apartment in the building; Owen is the maintenance man's son. During the city wide blackout, they keep each other company. They get free ice cream, and have a rooftop picnic of non-perishable food. They innocently fall asleep on the roof, and Lucy wakes up the next day alone, wondering where Owen has gone. They see each other briefly to tell each other they are both moving away from New York City. Owen and his dad are going on a wandering road trip, as they are both still dealing with Owen's mother's tragic death. And Lucy's father is fairly certain he will be relocated to London. The two part and start sending postcards to each other. 

The book alternates chapters between Lucy's narration and Owen's, but it's never confusing to figure out whose story you are reading. Through nine months and five countries, Lucy and Owen keep wondering what might have been if they'd both been able to stay in New York....

I loved the writing in this book. While reading, there were many sentences and phrases I came across that I thought, "Wow, that's a really good quote." It was also not a fast-paced book, but I loved all the descriptions of the different cities that Lucy and Owen visit and reside in. 

And I also supposed that this book reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Before Sunrise. It's a late 1990's movie about two travelers who decide to get off of a train and wander the streets of Vienna together all night until morning. Both this book and that movie are more about the lasting impression a short but intense experience can have on you, and what choices will you make in the end?

I love happy endings, and I enjoyed this book. :)

Happy reading,

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