POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!! JUST A WARNING BUT NO MAJOR SPOILERS!!!
This was an incredible book. It was about a couple, Lizzie and Sarah. Very much in love. Or so we are led to believe. (and yes they are lesbians).
This book is written first person perspective by Lizzie (accept for conversations). She does not know how to open up to anyone but her friend Ethan. And even at that Ethan knows when Lizzie is trying to pull the wool over his eyes. Lizzie is a hard working woman, a professor, who is always grading papers and would really prefer to be alone riding her bicycle than doing anything else. She is really clueless. Ethan tries to help her and her perceived problems and real ones. They have coffee almost everyday and discuss their relationships. Ethan does not tell his wife things (he finds all bodily functions gross, including sex, but his wife stays), and Lizzie does not tell Sarah things. Neither of them are cheating. They just have partners that put up with their quirks. And then Maddie comes into the picture.
Maddie is Lizzie's brother's (Peter) girlfriend. They meet all at a dinner. Maddie is very welcoming. She tries hard to impress Peter and Lizzie's parents. Lizzie and Peter's parents are very dysfunctional. He works all the time and Lizzie calls her mother "The Scotch Lady" meaning she is always drunk. Somehow they get through introductions. Maddie feels she has a new sister and is so excited and Lizzie cannot stop thinking of Maddie and how she smells and what she looks like. But if you were Sarah, you would never know something is on Lizzie' mind.
A good portion of the book takes place at the coffee shop where Ethan and Lizzie meet everyday for Ethan's coffee and Lizzie's Chai. Ethan is a good friend who tries to help Lizzie make sense of her feelings for Sarah. Sarah practically lives at Lizzies, which makes Lizzie very nervous. She does not want to be tied down. Then Sarah starts thinking of all kinds of things like getting a house together, even possibly a wedding. Lizzie buys her affection in a way (well sort of in a way she buys her tons of jewelry and takes her to expensive places to eat, on vacation, you name it, Lizzie does know what Sarah likes) because she is so clumsy in a relationship but she knows what Sarah likes. They are really a great couple. Lizzie just cannot see it. And as she is thinking of possibly leaving Sarah, she turns around and buys her an amethyst ring that Sarah wears on her ring finger that Maddie and Ethan have to point out, she is engaged. Lizzie is clueless.
Lizzie becomes friends with Maddie. But she is also attracted to her which makes a lot of lunches and some dinners very difficult for Lizzie. Maddie is just as sweet as can be but always wants to talk about Lizzie and Sarah and not her and Peter. Peter works a lot, just like his dad. So Maddie keeps busy by hanging out with Lizzie and Sarah and a lot of time doing her own thing.
So what is the thing? Does Lizzie tell Maddie how she feels? Does Lizzie keep stringing Sarah along when she knows she is not fully committed? And what about Maddie? What about her and Peter? And does Maddie have feelings for Lizzie? So many questions. And you will get your answers.
Among all the questions and dysfunction in the families is Lizzie. She is just trying to find herself and it takes a pretty big journey and a big step to do that. People are trying all through the story to tell her what her problems are but she is in her own world of books and teaching and being a loner.
What is wonderful is the journey she makes, and how she gets there. And who helps her. Because this is really a fabulous story but, and I never read love stories, it is one. At least I felt it was one. And it was so well done. There was not to much sex for those of you who are worried about that. Certainly no reading for anyone under 18. But the love Lizzie and Sarah share make the love scenes very sweet and a little erotic. Maybe a lot erotic you have to judge. But the sex is part of the relationship and it is beautifully described and it is felt deeply. The connection Lizzie and Sarah have is beautiful and romantic. So what is Lizzie's problem? Beautiful girlfriend, smart (a teacher also), funny, buys Lizzie lots of things because she loves her. For example Lizzie is not very style conscious so Sarah shops for her all the time. So what is the deal?
The character development was great as well as the unfolding of the story. There were a lot of surprises.
I liked that this book had three strong woman characters. Lizzie, Sarah, and Maddie (Or Elizabeth, Sarah, and Madeline). I love your general kick-ass female characters but it takes a really good writer to come up with an emotionally strong character. And one that thinks for herself. Female characters that you can look up to because they are not only beautiful, but smart, and funny, and witty, and emotionally in check.
I cannot wait to read another book by this author. She has a fan for life!