Claire Cooke (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction where kernels of the absurd and comedic from everyday life blend to form compulsively readable novels. In Time Flies, she delivers again, this time by telling the story of Melanie, a vulnerable, middle-aged, recently divorced, metal sculptor with a highway driving phobia who is goaded by an old friend to attend their high school reunion in Massachusetts.
Melanie, who had uprooted herself and her then, two young sons to accommodate her husband's job years before, has no desire to leave suburban Atlanta and revisit the past. She is content to stay home and literally cut up her king-size marital bed with a chainsaw in order to harvest the springs inside for a new artistic creation. "I'm not famous, I didn't turn into a knockout, my husband left me," she tells her relentless friend. But when an old high school flame, Finn Miller, emails to ask if Melanie will be attending the reunion, their flirtatious correspondence, and the fact that Melanie doesn't exactly remember him, is enough to pique her interest and change her mind.
Hilarious potholes pave the way to memory lane as Melanie journeys to Massachusetts, where she faces her fears while reconnecting with old friends who are dealing with their own life challenges. The piece de resistance, however, is the reunion itself where the past and present riotously collide and give birth to an ending that is as heartfelt as it is hopeful.
Time Flies by Claire Cooke
Touchstone (Simon & Schuster), $24.99, hardcover, 9781451673678 , 320 pp
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (6/14/13), click HERE