Stay Serendipity Stay
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Pages: 46
Goes well with: Italian food and a glass of merlot

Gabriella Lucas’ short tale, Stay Serendipity Stay, begins when a former history teacher meets a former English student in a bar. But teacher and student are both well past that certain age, and men grow old so much more gracefully than women. So thinks the English student, now author, remembering her Ph.D. dissertation and the letters of Helen Hunt Jackson.

Being English, and neither an English student nor a history buff, I know even less about Helen Hunt Jackson than I do about the American Civil War. But an honest gentleness about these characters pulls the reader in, while a slightly wounded but hopeful turn of phrase keeps the story flowing. Told in first person, the tale builds on a pleasing mix of personal drama, erudite education, and quiet seduction. When the wine glass drops I jump as high as the protagonist, then relax into my chair. This is going to be fun, and I know I can’t really believe there’s “no time for romance” in this author’s life. Romance after sixty? Romance after two failed marriages? Why not?

Sam, the handsome, the glorious, the wonderful, is the sort of man to call a spade a spade, even while helping a lady from her coat with perfect graciousness. His quiet scorn for romantic novels rings very true to nature. And the wrinkles, as romance starts to bloom, are nearly all made from smiles. The snap of a branch transports the reader from Ohio to Africa, filling the air with wondrous scenes, tales of excitement, and lingering dreams. How can romance not bloom under this setting sun?

The believable writer protagonist adds immediacy to the tale. An honest friend adds complexity. And an intriguing sense of mystery adds depth. Enhance this with great locations, perfect dialog and entertaining writing, and the result is a happy mix, a perfect read for lunchtime while a nice glass of merlot scents the air. I might be jealous of dark hair not yet turned gray, trim figure, and a string of writing hits. But mostly I’m pleased at the possibilities this tale so nicely portrays—the chance of love open to anyone young enough to be disturbed by storms or old enough to remember being betrayed.


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