Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Getting the Message

by Elizabeth Palmer from the August 2, 2010 issue

Tagline: When Carla finally met at the Laundromat, she realized that some things are simply meant to be...

In a Nutshell: Carla's friend wants to play matchmaker and set her up with Luke. Carla is reluctant because of a guy at the laundromat she likes but hasn't approached yet. A patient wants to set her up with her nephew, who works in the hospital, like Carla does, but in radiology. His name is also Luke. Then, strangely, the librarian gives her a book that was recommended by another library patron with the same taste in books. His name? Luke, of course. It ends up that Luke is also the guy from the laundromat.

Observations: I thought this story was the perfect mix of Woman's World optimism and verging-on-implausible coincidence. The magazine has a knack for finding stories that test your ability to suspend disbelief by encouraging your hope for romance to blossom. Here, we are expected to swallow the fact that this Luke guy "appears" in Carla's life in four different ways.

What makes it work is Carla's skepticism. She embodies what we readers are experiencing as we read. This connects us with her character. Yet, at the end, we all hope that it will work out happily, and it does, which is our reward for putting or skepticism aside for just a few minutes.

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