Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Littlest Matchmaker by Joanne Carlton

Tagline: Thanks to three-year-old Leo, Sandra and Doug's future was crayon-bright with possibilities!

Observations: I liked this one. There were quite a few things I wanted to point out.

1. Like so many of the stories recently, there is a lot of focus on one character and how she grows. She's lonely at the beginning of the story, but she doesn't sit at home and mope about it. She goes out to the park. She makes friends in her building and at work and we see her go out of her comfort zone with the volleyball game.

2. Note the black moment occurs and is resolved early on when at first Sandra worries that Leo is Doug's son and that Doug is married.

3. So much time was covered that it felt like a much longer story.

4. There is a good chunk of "telling" in their conversation after the volleyball game. Sometimes this is necessary with Woman's World stories to force scenes to advance a little more quickly than they would have if you'd written them normally. It might have been so that Carlton could fit in the wedding at the end.

"Say hello to Leo for me and tell him I think he's a whiz at colors."

Doug said that he'd been out of town a lot lately, attending two conferences and a seminar. He flashed that lopsided grin, then said, "I hope you don't mind that before I left town, I asked Sam about you."

Sandra didn't admit that she was delighted, but she knew Doug could tell she didn't mind one bit that he'd asked about her. They sat together and talked for the rest of the evening, and on the walk home, Sandra didn't hesitate when Doug asked her out.

See how much happened that was summed up in the narrative? There are two more paragraphs of the wedding. Carlton could easily have expanded the part where he walks her home and asks her out and have the story end there, but instead we saw the wedding.

5. The "I see white," line didn't quite work for me. Yes, brides wear white, but that wasn't quite enough for me to make it sentimental or emotionally fulfilling.  But other than that, great story.

Photo credit: Adam Kaminski


Pat said...

I really enjoyed this story. Loved the use of the kid as a catalyst for the romance. Well written.

Chris said...

Packed with content and covering a huge time span of two years, this story felt a bit squeezed to me. I enjoyed it but I am not of fan of fast forward endings. Moving on to the wedding years later doesn't seem necessary and I always think the words used to tie up all the loose ends could be better employed in the development of the romance. But that's just me. Well paced and fun though.

Kate Willoughby said...

Chris, I think you have a valid point. Sometimes, the wedding feels a little tacked on.

Beth said...

I missed this one.

Sandy Smith said...

I actually thought the final line of "I see white" was a great way to tie in the child's references to color. I liked the story.

Kate Willoughby said...

Sandy, this is great. I love how you guys feel the freedom to disagree with me. Obviously the editors liked the ending too.