Book Review : The Geography Of You And Me
by Jennifer E. Smith
“And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)” -- E.E. Cummings
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.
I started reading this book online today and completed it right now. There's something about this book that is addictive; I just couldn't stop reading it once I started. There was instantly something so simple, sweet and adorable about the entire scenario, getting stuck in a lift with someone, and how those few seconds’ difference could have made the biggest of changes, yet Lucy and Owen were such realistic characters, and they brought this naive and spontaneous nature to themselves that made the story what it was. There's something kind of wonderful about the thought of meeting someone in a lift, and being stuck with them and their company throughout what should have been one of the most scary experiences of somebody's life, and to then share that moment for a whole night, in the middle of a New York City blackout with defrosting ice cream and a sky full of stars, is just magical. Smith managed to make the whole thing so believable and almost like a conscious thought that I was so lost and wrapped up in the whole story from chapter one; I couldn't have asked for anything better.
Their story, written across the globe in miles and postcards, via lakes and rivers, from New York to the hills of Edinburgh, the Point Zero in Paris, London, the seaport of Seattle, right back to New York, to the night they met, for me, couldn't have been more perfect.
It covered the aspect of growing away from people, moving on with life, taking what live throws at you, living your dreams and how your dreams aren't always what you want in the end. Something about family, the difference between having someone and not having someone, having something, somewhere, a part of you lost everywhere you've been and being happy with it. Owen and Lucy grew so much as people, growing as they learnt from their wrong relationships, growing into themselves and the journeys they took over nine months, growing as they learnt from each others’ lessons, and growing to meet each other once more.
There was something so honest and perfect about this story, something so sweet and lovable, something so amazing about trekking across the world to find that home isn't a place, it's a person, and a feeling, a pull to something better.
Some Great Quotes From the Book:
• “He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time. She already couldn’t wait to read the rest.”
•“Sometimes it seemed as if his whole life was an exercise in waiting; not waiting to leave, exactly, but simply waiting to go. He felt like one of those fish that had the capacity to grow in unimaginable ways if only the tank were big enough. But his tank had always been small, and as much as he loved his home- as much as he loved his family- he'd always felt himself bumping up against the edges of his own life.”
• “But there's no such thing as a completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending.”
•“There's a difference between loneliness and solitude.”
This book seems to be quite underrated but it took me places, and I enjoyed in the simplicity it offered.
I’ll rate it with:
Reviewed by Fouzia Umer
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