Forever Friday: A Novel by Timothy Lewis
“As the fingers
Who are one
To form complete and perfect trust,
Our todays and yesterdays
Tomorrow’s most precious gift…not just
That we are lovers…
But each other’s “bestest” friend.
Every once in awhile you find a story that feels special when you read it. There’s an intangible something that rises above the storyline and the physical workings of a plot, setting, and characterization. It’s as if a song had been captured mid-flight from ear to ear, and craftily inserted into the essence of the story in some mysterious way. This author is an artist, a song writer, and a poet. Somehow he snared all the elements of art, song and poetry and wove them into a mere story about a man and a woman. This new entity then shines through the story from the beginning and retains its glow throughout the tale.
This is a well-penned love story told in two dimensions of time. One man fell in love and lived his dream with his soul mate in the early twentieth century. The other man, living in the present, has no clue what a soul mate is nor what love is. So he embarks on a quest to find them, fueled by a failed marriage and the discovery of an elusive tale told in a series of postcards found in some photo albums at an estate sale of which he was in charge.
At first, Adam didn’t think anything was special about the Alexander’s photo albums. They were nearly thrown out in the trash when no one claimed them by the end of the sale. But the poetry caught his eye and he was intrigued. The cards spanned a period of 60 years. His own marriage hadn’t even lasted twelve years. How did a couple retain that special closeness he found evidence of in the notes? “Throughout each gloomy day, I’d pour over the postcards every spare minute, searching for the precious secret to Huck and Gabe Alexander’s happiness.”
Adam tracked down friends and family of the Alexanders and under the guise of asking questions about the estate he was settling, tried to ferret out more information. No one ever mentioned the post cards. Eventually he learned that the couple had a housekeeper for 26 years–Priscilla. She was like a daughter to them. She had a daughter of her own…Yvette. When Priscilla was killed in an auto accident, the Alexanders wanted to adopt the little girl. They shared a close relationship with her the rest of their days. Adam decided he needed to talk with Yvette to see if she could shed some light on the circumstances behind the weekly poetry. Each time Adam and Yvette met and talked, another chapter was born: the intriguing life story of Huck and Gabe Alexander.
Did Adam find what he was searching so diligently for? I’m not telling! But about two- thirds of the way through the story he pondered: “The trust between [me and my former wife] had soon evaporated, leaving completeness wounded at the matrimonial starting gate. For the most part, neither of us was unfaithful as such, but as I’d already reasoned, we each had a scandalous love affair with our own selfishness. And under the twelve year strain of making ‘me’ happy, our link weakened until it finally broke.” Adam wasn’t certain he would ever find the kind of relationship the Alexanders had, but with every revelation he received through the tale told by Yvette, he felt hope.
I absolutely fell in love with this story. The author derived his inspiration when he discovered postcards his great Aunt had received from his great Uncle, carefully preserved in photo albums. There was an original poem written for her every week and delivered every Friday for 60 years. The collection had been kept a secret. At the estate sale, the author literally rescued the albums from the trash. I was drawn into Gabe and Huck’s story by the author’s expert storytelling, just the right amount of historical context (the early 20th century), and a slight hint of mystery. Who was Mr. Jack? I am thrilled to share this discovery with you.
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Waterbrook Press and the website, Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=227694 (More information)
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