Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Dream of You

by Barbara Glass from the June 9, 2014 issue

Tagline: A conversation with an old friend, a vivid dream...and suddenly, Helen's thoughts were filled with Robbie.

In a Nutshell: After talking with an old high school friend, Helen is reminded of her first boyfriend, Robbie. She immerses herself in photos from the period and loses track of the time. Her friend comes to pick her up for their lunch/movie date, but just as they're leaving, Robbie calls.

Observations: I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Woman's World romance stories are all about possibilities. Often, first meet stories end with someone asking someone out on a date and getting a "yes," and the reader is left feeling optimistic for the couple.

In this case, we don't even get that far, but we still feel Helen's giddy excitement. But I'll admit I have a soft spot for old flame stories. There's a guy in my past that crops up in my thoughts every once in a while.

So, the story is very much in line with what we expect from a Woman's World romance. However, it's also contrary in that Robbie doesn't even show up until the very end--and he's not even there in person. It's only his voice on the phone! The majority of the story is reminiscing via the conversation between Helen and her friend. Usually, I don't like stories that don't show the hero and heroine interacting for a decent amount of time because it can make it hard for the reader to believe they really made a connection and have a bright future as a couple.

However, this one worked for me. I think maybe because it was an old flame story, so we almost have a connection built in, assuming they're still compatible after all those years. That assumption I'm willing to take as a reader, because I'm hopeful and optimistic. I think also because the story ends on the cusp of their conversation, the author isn't forcing us to believe two people just met and connected enough to make future plans. Glass wisely stopped us short of that. She also used the friend cleverly too.

Sarah, the friend, leaves at the very end of the story, literally closing the door on what's going on with Helen and Robbie on the phone. I felt like I was perching on Sarah's shoulder as she left the lovebirds to catch up with each other and it was as if all her hope for her friend was transferred to me.

In my opinion, this is what Woman's World--the entire magazine--tries to do. Lift us up. Show us that life is good, and if at the moment it's not quite so good, things can and will get better.

Photo from


Betsi said...

Kate, I liked this review, because you reminded me once again of WW's unwritten mission statement--to lift our spirits, and remind us of the goodness and possibility in life.

Sometimes my own problems make me cynical, and the exclamation points, rainbows and kittens in WW annoy me. I think I can't possibly write one more story with an unlikely coincidence and a happy ending. This reminds me that I can, and will, and that the story I write might make someone a little happier.

I liked that this story only showed the hero in Helen's memory, as he used to be. I'm happy to see a story that breaks the mold, when it's a good one, as this was.

Kate Willoughby said...

:) Yay. This one was a winner.

Pat said...

I loved this story, but I agree with Betsi, Kate. This was a great reminder review. I also know that my rejected stories were just not happy enough, cozy enough, or emotional enough.

I've read a few WW stories before where we don't meet the hero until the end and each one worked. We don't see them often though.

Must work on another submission.

Chris said...

Good story and another of those reviews that highlighted aspects that I had noticed but hadn't realised I had. Like that the relationship was there, but from years ago, so we don't need to see them meet up, or even have a conversation, because they did all that before and we know they'll be all right. The point about it needing to be uplifting bears repetition too - it's something we should always bear in mind.
taimsA snow
Nicely written story, with a good review.

Chris said...

oops, I got the robot words into the message.