Love Walked In

Title:Love Walked In
Author: Marisa de los Santos
Pub Date: 2006
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Love Walked In is something unexpected. When my eyes would roam, it always casually fell upon this book, only to quickly become distracted by another. I finally broke in my copy (yay bookmooch) after reading Fatal Light (review coming soon). I was looking for a needed reprieve from the violence and psychological turbulence of the Vietnam War.

Did it accomplish that? I'm not quite sure, for you see, Love Walked In poses a story that I don't think I would have naturally drifted toward. It's not a love story between a man and a woman, but between a 31 year old coffee manager and a (nearly) orphaned 11 year old girl.

It crossed my mind to put this book aside. I have very little maternal desires, and although I think children are great (I love my students more than imaginable) I also love my quiet selfish life where I can pack up my kayak and take off for a couple of days. This is also why I have no dogs. Naturally, a story that revolved around maternal love was an unexpected choice for me.

I'm glad I pressed forward. Cornelia Brown is the 31 coffee manager mentioned above. She begins dating a "Cary Grant" of sorts man who walked into the coffee shop one morning. Even though Martin comes across as emotionally unavailable, poor Cornelia desperately wants to fall in love with him. And then it happens. One morning a couple of months later, Martin brings in a child. A child abandoned by his mother and a stranger to him. This child, Clare, is his daughter.

The book moves between Cornelia's voice (first person) and Clare's experience (third person). At first, this was a bit difficult to get used to. Why oh why do authors tell stories this way, few can pull it off! I felt that Cornelia's voice was authentic. Her inner dialogue convinces her to find a fit with Martin even though we can see that it's somewhat forced for her. But I get that. I get that feeling when you first start dating someone and you know, you just know that it probably isn't going to go anywhere. But damn if you don't want it to, so you play it out hoping that something big might happen. I also appreciated the author portraying Cornelia this way because it wasn't some "love at first sight" ploy where feelings become mushy and then BAM it doesn't work out.

Clare, well, her voice was a bit of a struggle. Initially I felt she spoke TOO. Too intelligently, too thoughtfully, too maturely, too too too! But after a few chapters I was able to suspend my disbelief and finally began to FEEL for her.

I liked the ending too. Emotionally, it wasn't neat. You know, there was no cookie cutter, nice ribbon and bow ending. Ending was life.
(EDIT - I just found out there is a continuation, Belong To Me. Has anyone read that one as well? I just bookmooched it).
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the novel:

"Even if someone wasn't perfect or even especially good, you couldn't dismiss the love they felt. Love was always love; it had a rightness all its own, even if the person feeling the love was full of wrongness."

"There are people whose deaths make you ache with sadness. And then there are people whose deaths prevent the sun from rising, deaths that turn the walls black in every room you walk through, deaths that send storm clouds and a wail swirling through your head so that you can't hear music and you can't recognize your furniture or your own face in the mirror."
"Magic can happen in a car, a warm, intimate magic born of being in an enclosed, particular place and, simultaneously, being nowhere, pass through. No one leaves her troubles behind, not really, but you can believe you have. You can believe you're in an inbetween space where trouble can't find you..."
"In certain situation, you can't worry about how people will react. You just have to be as honest as you can and let what happens afterward happen."


  1. I really liked this book and was surprised by it. I have read Belong to Me and it's not exactly a continuation. It's a continuation several years forward, but focuses on completely different things. It's messy, more "women's fiction" in theme, and not quite as well written. I didn't like it as much as Love Walked In, but I still liked it.

  2. Thanks Amanda! Sounds like Belong to Me is more of a summer read! :)

  3. I've read Belong to Me and really liked it, so I think I come from the other end of the spectrum. I have Love Walked In, but haven't picked it up yet. I'm not sure what's stopping me because I really liked the 2nd book. I do think that it is probably more women's fiction.

  4. I havent read this book, but it sounds interesting. thanks for the review.

  5. I have Belong to Me but not this one. Wonder if I have to read this first?

  6. I have picked this book up a million times at the bookstore, but never bought it. Your review makes me curious though! Maybe it will have to be added to the TBR list.

  7. I really liked this book - was unsure at first but then was completely drawn into the story. I have Belong to Me on the shelf but haven't gotten to it yet.

  8. I had a similar experience and was glad I stayed with it 'til the end. I liked Belong to Me, too.

  9. I have this one on the shelf to read soon. Thanks for dampening my expectations a little.


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