I have a secret. Once in awhile, I get into fan fiction. But it never lasts. Maybe a few weeks, then it’ll be years between fandoms and forum searches. The thing with fan fiction is that a lot of is really bad or if it’s not bad, it’s unfinished. So I have a trick when between fan fiction phases, I pretend the characters from my favorite movies or shows are the main characters of books. A Window Across the River by Brian Morton, a book I found at Goodwill, became the perfect background for any ship. (This is fandom slang – meaning if you like a couple in a story, you ship them. Like if Brad and Angelina were fictional, they would be the Brangelina ship.)* Even though the main characters were in their forties, artists, and living on the east coast – I saw Buffy and Angel.
That’s not to say wanting to read a potential drama/ romance was the only reason I picked up this book. Sometimes you need to read something that isn’t fantasy or historical or full of adventure. Sometimes you want real people who feel exactly what you feel everyday. Even if in your imagination, they’re Hans Solo and Princess Leia.
In One Sentence: Nora and Isaac rekindle their ages past romance only to hurt each other.
Favorite Line: “Through year after year of silence, she carried on a conversation with him in her mind”. -p 1
Review: Wow. Just, wow. This is a book about two people who are dealing with the truth of being an artist. The language is precise, fantastic, and changes depending on the character’s perspective. Nora is a writer and Isaac is a teacher/photographer. Both have to balance the value of their identities as artists with the importance of relationships, even having to make a choice about what is more important for the future. (Not just who you date, but your family, who you love, who you choose not to love.) Nora doesn’t know how to write without hurting people and Isaac doesn’t know how to emotionally deal with mentoring students who may be better photographers than him. These are questions that real people really ask themselves, which is what makes the book so endearing. I found myself learning more about who I was and what my values were while exploring Nora and Isaac’s struggle through it. This isn’t a book for everybody, but definitely a great find for others that see the artist identity within themselves. I had that strange feeling of not wanting to put it down, but dreading it would end. Not only that, it has the best last line I’ve ever seen in fiction and I would have put it in the “favorite line” piece but felt like that was too spoiler-y. (This is turning into a fandom post…)
The Book Would Have Ended A Lot Sooner If: This was a story about two people with no creative ambition.
*Team Aniston. For the record.