Patti Callahan Henry
St. Martins Press
Ella's life has been completely upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love--until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the lookout for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to.
When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina, it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy--the life she wishes she had. And more real. Besides--what's a little white lie between strangers?
But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. From New York Times bestselling author, Patti Callahan Henry, The Idea of Love asks, "Can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?"
What do you do when you're faced with grief so strong you can barely stand? Maybe it's immobilized you? Maybe it's compounded grief, the kind where you are begging for it to end because you can't take anymore. For Ella, the heroine in this story, the reaction is to retreat. Retreat into another world, be someone else, craft her own story and relax in a made up world that is not her own, but also not foreign to her.
When Ella meets Hunter, an accomplished undercover writer of motion pictures who finds himself in a slump, she takes comfort in a stranger who knows nothing about her real life and soon one lie becomes another. Though both Ella and Hunter are weaving tales that are not far from their own truths, both are, in fact, tales. Soon the characters wish their lies had begun as truths, as untangling them doesn't seem to be an option.
Readers will enjoy following Ella and Hunter's story. By the middle, you'll be yelling at them "Just tell the truth already!" Or, maybe not... maybe you'll connect with their plight and hope they will find happiness in each other or some other as long as they can get past their burdens and find true peace.
This novel is a delightful read that will make you want to visit the coast and drink a Moscow Mule or Mint Julep on a covered, wrap-around porch at a local bed and breakfast or rented home on the beach. My suggestion? Curl up on your couch and let the book take you there. It's a delightful place with characters that are sure to entertain you.