R&R 055 | Love Walked In
Marisa de los Santos
Love Walked In
First published in: 2005
This edition: Plume, Penguin, 2006
Cover photography: Hans Neleman / Getty
Additional information: Belong to Me by De los Santos is the sequel to this book.
As Cornelia Brown is busy working at Café Dora, a local coffee place, love walks in, in the form of Martin Grace. Cornelia, who's a fan of old movies and quite the romantic, sees so many possibilities in this new man in her life. But she has no idea of the actual changes to come. While Cornelia tells us to watch The Philadelphia Story (Katharine Hepburn, oh, the fierceness) and swoons over Martin, elsewhere, a little girl is lost.
Because when Viviana decided to take off, she also decided to leave her child behind. Now, with no one else to take care of her, eleven year-old Clare Hobbs searches Philadelphia for her last hope against loneliness: her father. Her search brings her to Café Dora, where she finds Cornelia… and thus love walks in once more.
Love Walked In starts out light and sweet; the story is told with warmth, the scenes described like snapshots out of a lovely old film camera, or stills from those old movies Cornelia loves so much. The warm, romantic atmosphere makes this book the winter equivalent of a beach read.
Okay, sometimes the book is too sugary, but De los Santos gets away with it because enough happens to bring the book back down to earth. Namely, the plot twist midway through the book, which shocked me, because I really didn't see it coming. Normally books which are supposed to appeal to girls & women are predictable from the get go, and take the safest route. Love Walked In is surprising in that sense.
Cornelia is an intelligent and pleasant person with a comfortable voice. She's instantly likable and rather charming; Cornelia has a girl next door quality to her. It makes the Love Walked In very readable.
Not every character is as likable though, but that is a good thing; the book is more real this way. Viviana has issues, Martin is less than ideal and Clare (the other narrator, besides Cornelia) requires some patience at times, being an eleven year-old and all. So what if Teo is too perfect and ridiculously handsome (which is mentioned too often)? I can live with that.
The old movie references help to create the atmosphere of this book, which is like a blanket – warm, comforting and lovely to dream away in. And that is simply enough. I am waiting for winter, so I can curl up on the sofa by the fireplace, and read Belong To Me, the sequel to Love Walked In.
R&R series (and its photos, reviews) © Karin Elizabeth 2008-2009