Emily and Einstein
Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn’t really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein’s seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man?
I don’t know how I feel about this book, even after completing it.
It’s a typical story – the rich, beautiful man meets the beautiful woman, they instantly fall in love and live in the perfect apartment/house/location, then tragedy strikes and the inevitable triumph against adversity struggle ensues.
Sandy sees Emily in a business meeting and immediately knows he must have her. She, of course, feels the same way. They get married and have a seemingly perfect life. They live in a brownstone in upper Manhattan. Then, (and this isn’t a spoiler), Sandy dies in an accident and comes “back to life”, sort of, as Einstein, the dog. As Emily deals with her husband’s death, and his extremely unlikable mother-in-law, she starts learning things about Sandy that shifts her perspective about their life. She immerses herself in work as a book editor. All along, Sandy, in the form of Einstein, is tasked with helping Emily to move on. He also has to learn the reasons why he was given a second chance, but in the form of a dog.
The story moves quickly. It is an easy read. Along the way, we learn more about Emily, her family, her upbringing. There are clichéd examples of her struggles at work against a rival, and more about Emily’s seeming perfection from the perspective of her less perfect sister, Jordan. There were a few likable characters, and an equal number of unlikable ones.
I spent a good amount of time vacillating between thinking this was a clever twist on a typical chick-lit novel and thinking it was one of the most inane premises I’ve come across. Even as I finished the story, where all threads were tied up neatly, I still don’t know which opinion is more valid.
I disagree with the 3.70 star rating that is currently on Goodreads. It was a nice story, but forgettable.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Still in his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold embarks on his urgent quest across the countryside. Along the way he meets one fascinating character after another, each of whom unlocks his long-dormant spirit and sense of promise. Memories of his first dance with Maureen, his wedding day, his joy in fatherhood, come rushing back to him—allowing him to also reconcile the losses and the regrets. As for Maureen, she finds herself missing Harold for the first time in years.
And then there is the unfinished business with Queenie Hennessy.
A novel of unsentimental charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wise—and utterly irresistible—storyteller.(less)