People who know me well often poke fun at my love for old-school TV shows. It’s always very awkward at social gatherings when people start talking about shows like Glee or Dancing with the Stars. When the conversation turns to me, I just give them a blank stare and say, “How about that Jessica Fletcher? Did you see her solve the case of the poisoned clam chowder?” Thanks to my nifty DVR (best invention next to the Ford Taurus!) I no longer have to join the masses in TV Land. Give me a recycled episode of Murder She Wrote over a dumpy reality show any day! I still don’t know who the Kardashians are and what they’re all about – and I intend to keep it that way!
But I digress…the reason for this rant is that Marlo in True Love Way is a girl after my own heart. She may be young and hip, but she spends her free time watching I Love Lucy and Shirley Temple movies with her spunky great aunt. She even dyed her hair red to channel her inner Lucile Ball! This girl just loves, loves, loves all things retro. One thing she doesn’t love, however, is change. Who can blame her? Change is scary, especially for those of us who live in our own little nostalgic worlds.
After her ex-boyfriend, Josh, summons her back to Napa, her cushy little life goes into a tailspin. Her best friend, Nick, isn’t all to gung-ho about her rushing back to the jerk who kicked her to the curb and scurried off to Paris. But despite Nick’s warnings, she’s desperate to get some answers…and possibly rekindle the flame.
Why did he cut and run right when their romance was blossoming? And why did he go 12 long years without calling or writing? To quote the great Ricky Ricardo, he’s got some splaining to do!
Unwilling to let Marlo roadtrip it alone in her rickety vintage car, Nick decides to tag along. claiming that he needs to visit his sister Savannah. What could be more fun than an impromptu reunion with a bunch of old high school chums in California’s gorgeous wine country? Oh, you’d be surprised.
As soon as they set foot in Napa, things get screwy real fast. Savannah (Marlo’s other BFF) gets weird when Josh enters the picture. They used to be so close back in high school, especially when Marlo helped her raise her child right after graduation. But now it seems as though she’s holding something back…something that could potentially destroy their friendship.
Things go from bad to worse when Josh goes above and beyond to win Marlo’s heart. From balloon rides to romantic picnics to candlelit dinners, he’s pulling out all the stops to get her back. According to the butterflies in her stomach, the chemistry is alive and well. But a niggling feeling in her gut tells her to back off.
And just to make life even more complicated, Nick seems to have a special interest in the leggy, French girl who works behind the counter at his sister’s bakery. Why does he always seem to distract himself with uninteresting women with big boobs and long legs? And more importantly – why do his meaningless flings get under Marlo’s skin?
I’ll stop right here before I give anything away! You’ll have to read the book to find out what’s going on with these crazy kids. Overall, this book is a fun little beach read that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotional turmoil. The romance is entertaining, but what really makes the book special is Marlo. Considering our society’s obsession with all things digital, it’s refreshing to come across a character who lives in her own whimsical world of retro pop culture.
My only hangup is that the author didn’t take advantage of Napa’s gorgeous setting. I’ve never been there, but I would love to know what it’s like to soak in the breathtaking hills and valleys, to smell the aroma of vino at a classy winery, to explore a wine cellar lined with oak barrels. Although she touched on some of Napa’s scenic splendor, I would have liked more atmosphere and little less dialogue.
Aside from that minor gripe, True Love Way is definitely worth reading. Nancy Scrofano certainly has some writing chops, and I’m interested to see what she’ll come up with next! Fans of Emily Giffin and Jane Green are sure to enjoy this charming story about a quirky woman reaching a crossroads in life.