cover image Subway Love

Subway Love

Nora Raleigh Baskin. Candlewick, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6845-7

Baskin (Surfacing) embraces magical realism in this evocative story, which blends time travel with the notion of soul mates destined to connect. In 1973, 14-year-old Laura wishes she could live with her conventional father in New York City, rather than with her hippie mother and her mother’s abusive boyfriend in Woodstock, N.Y. When visiting her father in the city, she meets a strange boy on the subway. The boy, Jonas, has problems of his own, including his father’s extramarital affair. He is instantly drawn to Laura and becomes obsessed with reuniting with her, and neither teen understands why they can’t seem to contact each other outside their subway encounters. Alternating between Laura’s and Jonas’s point of view during and between their meetings on the subway, the novel captures the essence of the times in which both teens live and expresses the teens’ dissatisfaction with their situations. While Baskin keeps certain things ambiguous, such as the nature of the time travel, the book’s themes remain clear. The teens’ love for each other is eternal, providing figurative and literal escape from less-than-perfect homes. Ages 14–up. Agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (May)