The opening lines of Someone Else’s Love Story: A Novel reel the reader into the middle of the action: “I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K….”
Our first person narrator is Shandi Pierce, whose story unfolds as we wait, along with a few other customers, while someone is holding them hostage. Among the hostages are Shandi, William, Shandi’s three-year-old genius son Natty….and a few others. And outside the store is Shandi’s lifelong friend Walcott, whose destiny seems inexplicably entwined with hers, and who carries a secret love for her.
In alternating chapters, we learn about William’s tragic losses, and in flashbacks, we see what his love story looked like. We learn about Bridget, about how Paula fits into their story, and examine the strength of their connections to one another.
And as for Shandi’s story, a mystery and a miracle were forged four years before that she is now brave enough to explore. What will she discover with William’s help?
Are the connections forged on that hot summer day in Georgia some kind of destiny? Is William bound to be Shandi’s new great love, or is he part of someone else’s love story? And are the events that unfold afterwards a coincidence or more of the illusory destiny?
In Jackson’s captivating style, we become part of the story, joining with the characters as we learn more about them, seemingly walking alongside them. Some of the characters are more likeable than others. Paula, William’s friend, who seems to be some kind of bodyguard who tries to drive a wedge between Shandi and William, is not easy to like. But then suddenly she surprises us as we learn more about her.
This story of loss, second chances, and special friendships has so many layers that fold into one another until we see a completely different picture from the one we envisioned. A delightful weaving together of lives that Jackson fans are sure to love. Five stars.