Monday, May 21, 2012

Deb Caletti. THE STORY OF US

Cricket has just graduated high school, but is still pondering if she’s going away to college. She is torn between spreading her wings or staying home. In addition to her life being at a crossroads, two relationships in her life are also evolving. Cricket has just told her longtime boyfriend, Janssen, that she isn’t sure about their future. Plus, her mother is getting married. Her mother has been at the threshold of marriage twice before just before suddenly ditching those previous boyfriends. Cricket feels anxious for her mother. She hopes this marriage will work. Cricket, her brother Ben, and their mother go stay at a bed and breakfast for the wedding. They meet up with extended family, as well as her future family members.

Deb Caletti is really stretching her legs in this novel. It feels more complex than her previous books. She uses an interesting technique to tell the story of Cricket and Janssen. Since Cricket is separated from him, she writes him letters. Their love story is revealed through these letters as she is telling him how she got to this point in their relationship. The novel is told in alternating chapters between her letters and the events leading up to the wedding.

The novel is character driven, as expected from Deb Caletti. It’s contemplative and philosophical. I felt Cricket’s ambivalence to moving on with her life. I vividly remember that point in my life when I had moved out of my family home and needed to take that next step. I feel Cricket’s trepidation about leaving her family and her entire life.

I continue to love Deb Caletti’s writing. She brilliantly picks just the right word at the right time. Again, I have beautiful quotes to share:

Doesn’t this perfectly capture that feeling when you've just graduated high school:
“Gavin said, you could be anyone now that you graduated? You could sit inside the warm, familiar room of someone’s idea of you. Or you could step out the front door and see if they’d been right, or wrong, all along.”
So insightful:
“Egos were hungry things. Like Ben and Janssen, you could feed it breakfast, and a half hour later it would want pizza. You could start out using and end up being used, and by the time I got back up to the house, Amy and Hailey seemed full and happy, and I felt nothing but empty and exhausted.”
My favorite:
“Stories are what you have when the place is gone and the dried-up roses have crumbled and the ring is lost and that old car is finally junked. Stories are where the meaning ends up.”

THE STORY OF US is beautiful, insightful and thoughtful book. Check out Deb Caletti and her other books here. I really loved STAY and THE FORTUNES OF INDIGO SKYE