STARTING FROM SQUARE TWO

Caren Lissner, Author . Red Dress Ink $12.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-373-25052-3

Everything comes easily to Gert Healy: dating, love, marriage. But when her husband, Marc, dies in a car accident, 29-year-old Gert must search for happily ever after—again. A morbid take on romantic comedy, to be sure, but in Lissner's hands, Gert's story is poignant, sweet and smart. Gert re-enters the dating world with the help of her college roommate, Hallie, and Hallie's high school friend Erika. Erika and Hallie moan about the difficulties of dating, but Gert finds a wonderful man on her first foray into New York City's notorious singles scene. Todd, a sensitive young train conductor, differs from the sharp-edged Marc, and Gert finds herself falling into a different kind of love with him. She hashes out her inevitable feelings of guilt with the members of her young widows support group. Marc died only a few days before September 11, a plot device Lissner does not exploit, but uses sensitively to broaden the scope of the book. Hallie and Erika grapple more shrilly with their unbearable singlehood—especially Erika, who broke up with her college sweetheart and now faces the agony of hearing about his charmed life on his wife's Web log. Though Lissner's supporting characters aren't as nuanced as the appealing Gert, even Hallie and Erika gain depth as the novel builds to a thoughtful conclusion. Lissner's sturdy prose and sympathetic, detailed evocation of young widowhood makes this a solid entry in the genre. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-4592-4611-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-4592-3624-0
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