My life – my real life – started when a man walked into it, a handsome stranger in a perfectly cut suit and, yes, I know how that sounds. Or I know how it might sound, to the kind of person I used to be, one who spent her days skirting around the edges of adulthood, commitment, responsibility, accomplishment – whatever word you use to describe diving into the deepest part of being human. Take your pick; they’re all woefully inadequate, but they’re also all we have. -From Love Walked In, page 287-
Cornelia Brown, a cafe store manager living in Philadelphia, hasn’t decided what to do with her life. But all that changes when Martin Grace, a handsome and seemingly perfect guy, walks into the coffee shop one day and Cornelia’s life takes a turn which will forever change her future.
Love Walked In is written in two points of view – that of Cornelia as she wrestles with who she is – and that of Clare Hobbs – an eleven-year old girl who is hiding a secret and struggling to cope with her mother’s bipolar disease. In this novel about love, overcoming hardship and loss, and the power of human connection, the reader will meet Martin (a man whose narcissism is tempered by his desire to do the right thing), Linny (Cornelia’s best friend with an uncanny ability to see beneath the surfaces and discern exactly what the truth is), and Teo (Cornelia’s stunning, green-eyed brother-in-law who is almost too good to be true).
Earlier this year I read the sequel to this novel: Belong to Me (reviewed here) which I loved. The two books really should be read in order, but I found that reading them out of order did not take away any of my pleasure at getting to know the characters. Marisa de los Santos writes from the heart – she creates characters who live, breathe and dance through life; characters who could be your best friend or your brother or sister.
Love Walked In is women’s fiction (aka “chick lit”) at its best. Funny, touching and ultimately satisfying, this is a novel I can recommend to those who love this genre.