Monday, September 19, 2011

Random Hearts

Cheesy. Unimpressive. Unbelievable.

Those are some of the words I would use to describe "Random Hearts" by Warren Adler.

A man and woman are cheating on their spouses and die in a plane crash. The spouses meet and fall in love.

The premise isn't awful; the book is written awfully. What I said above is all revealed on the jacket of the book, but the two main characters don't even meet and find out what happened to their spouses until about a third of the way through the book. Then they almost instantly fall in love, and even though they have some bumpy moments in the first few weeks of getting to know each other, they decide to stay together.

That would never happen!

In the indie movie version of this story, the two main characters sleep together, then realize what an awful mistake that was because they were just trying to use the other to replace what they lost and discover that it isn't possible, so they move on in their lives separately, more hurt than they were before. Maybe that's a bit on the depressing side, but that is a book I would read and enjoy - because it would be realistic.

More unbelievable fodder from the book: The widower learns how much his deceased wife's family hates him because they blame him for her death. Adler paints Lily's family as uber-Italian and unforgiving, and her "Jersey Shore"-esque brother threatens widowed Edward for stealing her away. OK, 1) Who marries someone their family has that much hatred toward if their family is THAT IMPORTANT to them? and 2) What kind of uber-Italian name is Lily?

Unfortunately, Adler wrote this book nearly 30 years ago, when apparently you could board a plane using fake names without showing photo identification. The setup of his book wouldn't even be possible today - which made it a little more difficult for me to digest.

Watch the author speak briefly about the story below:

Read the first chapter of "Random Hearts".

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl



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