Love Walked In sounds like it’s going to be a love story. And it is. There’s even romance. But the other love story happens between a woman and a 12- year-old girl, practically a stranger, whom she comes to believe she can’t live without.
Cornelia is a 31-year-old grad school dropout and coffee-shop manager who recommends The Philadelphia Story (and Cary Grant) to anyone who will listen. She comes from a wonderful family and has a great cast of friends who come and go throughout the novel.
Clare is 11 and facing something no child should have to face: watching her mother fall apart … alone. Her mother and father are divorced and her relationship with her father is minimal. Clare doesn’t feel that she has anyone to turn to, and so she begins micro-managing her life, making sure that no one can suspect that things are not OK at home. She’s trying to survive, and failing.
The book starts with alternating chapters: Cornelia’s hilarious and biting story told in first person, followed by Clare’s third-person account of survival. Clare’s troubles are suddenly thrown to Cornelia when Cornelia’s boyfriend, Martin Grace, shows up at her café one day with Clare, the daughter Cornelia knew nothing about and whom he has no clue how to parent. When Cornelia and Clare come together, so do their stories. Their love for each other helps the other person discover who she is, be brave and put their lives in order.
I loved this book. At first I was worried that I’d be in the dark due to all of Cornelia’s references to old movies, like The Philadelphia Story (which I’ve since rented and watched), but just having an idea of how the old classics work was just fine. I’m a sucker for a good love story, which this book has, but it was also so nice to read a book in which the friendship of two people is front and center — and the best love story there is.
Rated: High, based solely on language. There are at least 40 swear words, at least 9 of them the F-word. Most of the language was in reaction to the situations presented and people’s exasperation with them. Regarding sexual references, sex was only referred to but not described.