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Brilliant,
Dramatic

4 reviews

Someone Else's Love Story: A Novel
by Joshilyn Jackson

Published: 2013-11-19
Hardcover : 320 pages
8 members reading this now
5 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members

Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they ...

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Introduction

Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Editorial Review

Author One-on-One: Christina Baker Kline and Joshilyn Jackson

Christina Baker KlineJoshilyn Jackson

Christina Baker Kline is a novelist, nonfiction writer, and editor. Her novels include Orphan Train and Bird in Hand. She lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, and three boys.

Christina Baker Kline: Your characters seem to have broken the "rule" that men and women can't be friends. Do you think this is possible only in novels?

Joshilyn Jackson: You might be asking the wrong person. When I was nineteen, I met a gangly, dark-haired, geeky guy with big feet and a weird sense of humor. He quickly became my dearest friend. In those days, I would have said, â??Of course they can!â??

Seven years later? Heâ??d grown into the big feet and become one helluva man. Reader, I married him. Twenty years and two kids later, I still like him best.

The man/woman thing is powerful, and it can be so sneaky. Attraction can grow between the most unlikely pairings, given time and shared experiences and discovered connections. It doesnâ??t always happen, but itâ??s a risk. Better not to mess around with it if youâ??re sure you do not want it. You canâ??t get sex back to sleep once itâ??s good and woken.

Someone Elseâ??s Love Story has two sets of man/woman best friends, and I didnâ??t want attraction to intrude on the dynamics. I tried several ways to remove it entirely from both equations, but it didnâ??t work until I attacked sex where it is most powerfulâ??in its mystery. I took away wondering and speculation; both pairs of friends have already had sex with each other before the novel begins.

Men and women canâ??t get around sex, true, but I thought perhaps these two friend-pairs had elected to move through it. Through it, and into something else.

CBK: This is a story about family and friendship, truth and secrets, and love. But it is not necessarily a love story. Do you think that on some level all stories are love stories?

JJ: Yes. Not all stories are romances, certainly, but all good stories are love stories, in one way or another. â??Only connect,â?? E. M. Forster said, and at these words, a great Amen rises in me.

CBK: Your characters have definite musical tastesâ??The Pixies, early David Bowie, They Might Be Giants. Are you promoting your own favorite bands through Shandi?

JJ: I am a visual arts person, a museum person. I am much more interested in seeing than hearing. I have embarrassingly pedestrian musical tastes; I listen to cheery pop with my eleven year old daughter. I like music that doesnâ??t ask me to pay much attention to it. As I write this, Pandora is playing â??Jungle Loveâ?? for me. I am chagrined to report that I just thumbsed it up.

All the bands mentioned came from hanging out with my husband, my niece Erin Virginia, and my cool friend Lydia. I know this music because it matters so much to them, and they matter so much to me. I used their bands and songs to say things about the characters---not me.

CBK: Your contemporary novel deals with an ancient concept: the miracle. Do you believe in miracles?

JJ: Absolutely. Someone Else's Love Story is full of huge, overblown miracles. A virgin birth, a holy sacrifice, more than one resurrection. But they are all fake. They are all explained away and undercut. They are dust.

The real miracles are smaller. There are at least two in this book, so tiny it is easy to miss them. They are very true and dear and frail and human. They spark and pop for only a moment before they begin to diffuse and spread themselves like mist into the story. They change everything.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by iamkathleen (see profile) 05/30/14

 
  "Someone else's love story"by aronsson (see profile) 03/19/14

A brilliant story with mesmerizing characters.

 
  "Someone Else's love story"by Vkcrutc (see profile) 03/19/14

Pretty good

 
  "A lot to talk about in this book."by riegerd (see profile) 01/05/14

I think this book would make an excellent book group book. There are many talking points from Shandi's "virgin birth" to William's tragedy to how Joshilyn Jackson dealt with rape.

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