[Amazon | IndieBound | BN | Find it at your local library]
Rowell is one of those authors I fell in love with after my first introduction to her, and in this case it was Eleanor & Park. I thought, “Self, you should read more Rowell” and self agreed. Except, time has gone on since I read Eleanor & Park. When I had insomnia the other night, I was perusing Amazon Prime books (did you know you can download free eBooks with your Prime account?!) when this popped up as a Kindle Single holiday romance.
Works for me!
What brought this true to heart was Rowell wrote this as holiday romance taking place in Christmas 2020 including the fact that Covid is a thing. Covid is in fact is a central plot of the story and not some abstract idea of a pandemic and not completely glossed over but here we are at 6′ apart, wearing masks, and begging for people to get vaccinated story.
We know people like Reagan’s sister, Caitlin:
“I mean,” Caitlin texted, “Mom’s right. We haven’t seen each other in nine months, and none of us have had Covid. So that’s nine months we could have seen it each other.”
Regan wanted to say, “Maybe that’s why we haven’t had Covid.”
And also people like Reagan’s brother:
But she wasn’t even sure that no one in her family had had Covid. They wouldn’t ell her if they had. Half of them didn’t wear masks – half of Nebraska wouldn’t wear a mask. Her brother kept posting conspiracy theories on Facebook, and Reagan was the only one arguing with him.
A Covid love story seems a bit on the on the downer side of things but take heart! You find yourself warming up to Regan’s prickliness and Mason’s geeky warmth. They bond over green Jell-O salad, the staple of Midwest holiday meals everywhere, while standing multi-feet apart on their respective back decks. They bond over their families ridiculousness and also, their own loneliness. Covid is no joke, we know this, but the ability to find someone gets you, likes you, and would do anything for a kiss and a hug is sweet.
tl;dr: A quick read at a scant 39 pages, you’ll enjoy this very appropriate holiday romance. And even more so if you’ve Rowell’s Landline.