Can two strangers who meet (and tweet) by chance find a love strong enough to last a lifetime? That’s the question former literary sensation Abby Donovan is forced to explore when she meets Mark Baynard on Twitter. Mark, an English professor traveling the world, shatters Abby’s writer’s block one witty tweet at a time. Just as she begins to write and live again, she discovers Mark is hiding a secret that could change both of their lives forever. In the tradition of Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, two lonely people discover it doesn’t take 140 characters to find your soul mate, just three little words.
MarkBaynard: There’s a cool breeze tonight. How about I go all Cro-Magnon on you and drape my jacket over your shoulders?
Abby_Donovan: Mmm…thank you. It smells nice…like your aftershave. Is it Michael Germain?
MarkBaynard: Old Spice. I borrowed it from my grandfather.
Abby_Donovan: I wish you’d take off those shades. It makes me nervous when I can’t see a man’s eyes.
MarkBaynard: It would make you more nervous if you caught me staring at your chest while you talked instead of gazing deep into your eyes.
Abby_Donovan: Or if I caught you gazing deep into my eyes when I was hoping you were staring at my chest.
Abby Donovan is an author who was picked for Oprah’s Book Club and nearly won a Pulitzer Prize for her first (and only, so far) book. It’s been several years and she cannot get past the fifth chapter of her second book and her editor and agent are worried about her career. Is she becoming a has-been already? Her agent, smartly, signs Abby up for Twitter, THE social media tool for authors these days. The only problem is that Abby is completely clueless about Twitter. In her ineptitude, she meets Mark. Their twitter friendship becomes deeper as Abby confides in Mark about her father, who passed a couple years before, her mentally ill mother, and her inability to get past her writer’s block.
Mark is a college professor on sabbatical, traveling the world and looking for inspiration for the book he wants to write. He sends Abby pictures of where he happens to be that day, Paris, Italy, Ireland. Their friendship becomes more as they begin Twitter-dating and he confides to her about his ex-wife and the three year old son they have who he hasn’t seen in too long.
When Abby attempts a small step toward off-line friendship, Mark balks and becomes distant. He’s obviously hiding something. I don’t want to say too much because it would give away the story, but the things that Mark has been hiding and lying about become too much for Abby and she questions their connection and friendship when Mark is at his lowest point.
What started as a funny tale about a woman needing to validate herself and her career, turned into a sweet, funny, romantic and sad story about the information age we’re in and how it can be both a hindrance and a benefit to becoming more emotionally intimate or the appearance of intimacy. Ms. Medeiros is an author better known for historical romances (which I haven’t read), but I really think she has a future in contemporary.