A Note from an Old Acquaintance was a good read, and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I’ve heard the story too many times before.
Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega- selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair.
Everything changes the morning an e- mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short- lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book- signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
The initial setup was very well done. I was drawn into the story, and to Brian in particular. I really liked Brian, both as a person I’d like to meet, and as a well drawn character. I wanted to follow his story both in the initial 2006 section, and when we went back to 1991, when Joanna and Brian initially met.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Joanna. I was intrigued by her in the 2006 part of the story, but once we went back to the start of their relationship, I didn’t understand her character and the decisions she made.
I did love the descriptions of her as an artist, and of her art. These felt very real, and gave her character depth.
When the story started, I honestly didn’t know where it was going, and I liked that. In the 1991 section, it didn’t take long to figure out exactly what was being set up. Knowing what was coming didn’t make it unreadable– the book was well written enough that I enjoyed watching events unroll.
Still, I was relieved to return to 2006, where the book had been going so well. Again, I wasn’t as clear where events were leading.
I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll just mention that there were two places I was afraid the story was going, and both of those possibilities were avoided. Several other clichés weren’t. The ending was weaker than I was hoping for.
Even with all that, I ended up satisfied with the book.
I wanted to comment on the cover. I really enjoyed it, which isn’t surprising– Bill Walker is a book cover designer (check out his web page for information on his cover designs and on his other books). I decided I needed a coordinating bookmark. Here’s what I came up with.
I read this book as part of a blog tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotions.