From Publishers Weekly
Every now and then, the story behind a book’s publication is more interesting than the novel itself. This one was the grand prize winner of a contest held by Morrow, Redbook magazine and women.com for “The Greatest Love Story Never Told,” in which contestants were urged to write about their own heartwarming experiences. The La Garennes’ prize-winning story was turned into this novel written by Upcher (Falling for Mr. Wrong). It opens in the 22nd year of Nanci and Jimmy’s marriage, with the couple sleeping in separate bedrooms and on the brink of breaking up. It is the Christmas season, and as the couple contemplates filing divorce papers, they begin to review their shared history: their early attraction in Brooklyn, shotgun wedding, two children, love and dreams, and the trials that led to the decline in their relationship. In fact, most of the book involves past history, clich‚s clinking all over the place (“He played her like she was a musical instrument, tuning her body until she was rising and falling in rhythm to his every touch”). Short sentences demand nothing from the reader and an overall treacly sweetness makes this an ideal candidate for the ’50s magazine column “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” However, the presence of a few contemporary problems including drug abuse may make this tale more timely for readers looking for happy-ever-after endings. (Sept. 18)Forecast: Savvy marketing should bring this uplifting weeper to the attention of romance readers. The combined audience on HarperCollins’, Redbook’s and women.com Web sites will get sales rolling. That James La Garenne and his wife both entered the contest unbeknownst to each other, and the husband’s version won, adds an O. Henry twist to a story made for media exploitation.
By Lisa on December 17, 2002Format: Mass Market Paperback Jimmy and Nanci have been childhood sweethearts, and were married young, the reason for the marriage is because Nanci got pregnant with Josh, they had another son Eric, They were in love, they moved in with Jimmy’s parents, Nanci was very lucky that she got along great with her in laws they were there for her whenever she needed them. They had problems but they seem to work them out, then the problems got worse when Jimmy started working longer hours and was hardly home, then Josh was having problems in school, Nanci needed Jimmy to be there for them, but he didn’t know how to handle Josh and the problems he was having, going through a lot Nanci is tired of dealing with everything by herself. Reading this story about these two people makes your heart go out to them and it makes you want to give Nanci a hug and tell her everything is going to be just fine. You can’t help but cheer for Jimmy and Nanci, who deserve a second chance.
By Wally Perkovich on April 23, 2002