By Paula Cappa Reviews (New York)
This review is from: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel (Paperback)
If you love character-driven plots, This Nearly Was Mine will sweep you away. My thumbnail synopsis: Annie (nice Jewish girl from Long Island) is a romantic adventurer who travels to the steamy south of Spain, falls for a tempestuous Mediterranean lover (Francisco, hot, hot, hot), but she returns to the USA to marry the boy next door (Matthew). Matthew is a good guy but this dry marriage for Annie has her deeply conflicted. Francisco remains in Spain but is an ever-present temptation that is calling her back to the sunny shores, and yes, she does make a trip back. This saucy and hopeful web of relationships, roiling with dramatic emotions, is entertaining and poignant as Annie struggles to find herself and true emotional fulfillment within the boundaries of husband, children, and lover. It’s also about the damages we all do to each other, and endure, in the name of love and commitment. As a coming-of-age story, it has tension, humor, and earnest stream-of-consciousness prose. The novel reads like a memoir, which gives it an authenticity that I especially enjoyed. Honestly, this was like reading someone’s personal journal. If you know the song lyrics to the book title, it’s a dreamy song about Paradise and the “one love” to be living for. For Annie, she has two loves, both imperfect and isn’t that true to life?