Weiner (All Fall Down) tugs at the heartstrings with her latest tale of angst and love. Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet in a Miami hospital's emergency room. Rachel has a congenital heart deformity that has required multiple surgeries, so she's an old hand at hospitals and enjoys hanging out in the ER area for a little excitement. Andy and his mother are visiting Florida; he has a broken arm. Their backgrounds couldn't be more dissimiliar: Rachel is the pampered daughter of an affluent couple in Miami; Andy is the child of a struggling hairdresser in Philadelphia. But to distract Andy from his pain while his mother is located, Rachel gives him a stuffed animal and tells him her own version of "Hansel and Gretel." When they part ways in the ER, both assume it will be the last time they see each other. But following an unexpected reunion at a volunteer camp, Rachel and Andy's paths intertwine for the next three decades, as Andy follows his dream of winning an Olympic gold medal in running and Rachel becomes a social worker. While the two have a romantic relationship as young adults, circumstances pull them apart, and they remain on the fringes of each others' lives until another chance meeting changes them once again. The story is in alternating points of view—Rachel's in the first person, Andy's in the third person—and it meanders a bit, but Weiner's achingly real characters will keep readers engaged all the way through. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015 Release date: 08/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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