Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
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.
When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. Charming and debonair, the spitting image of Cary Grant, Martin sweeps Cornelia off her feet, but, as it turns out, Martin Grace is more the harbinger of change than the change itself.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. Taking inspiration from famous orphans (Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Mary Lennox and even Harry Potter) Clare musters the courage to seek out her estranged father. When the two of them show up at Cornelia’s cafe, Cornelia and Clare form a bond as unlikely as it is deep. Together, they face difficult choices and discover that knowing what you love and why is as real as life gets.
I enjoyed this book and truly cared what happened to the characters. We don’t always find love where we expect, sometimes it grabs us and won’t let go, sometimes we have to realize it’s been there all along. It’s also about trust and hope and trying to make the right choices.
At first, I enjoyed how Cornelia saw her life as moments of a movie, but as the story went on, there were too many movie references. Maybe some would see it as a tribute to classic movies, but I haven’t watched that many older movies, so I just didn’t get most of it and it took away from the book.
Another criticism is that all the characters were too incredibly beautiful. Not just good-looking, but fantastically beautiful. The main characters, the love interests, the missing mom were all gorgeous. Give me someone who is not breath-taking.
Overall, however, the writing was wonderful and poetic, the descriptions perfect and even though the situation was unbelievable, de lost Santos made me believe it and feel for all the characters. If the ending was tied up a little too neatly, I can forgive it, because it was a happy ending for everyone.