By Proxy is an enticing read – if you enjoy throwbacks. Which I do, whole-heartedly. It is a romance, no question, but a ‘sweet’ one, as in no sex, just kisses. (No bad words, either, although it is not an inspirational romance.) In this case, sweet is NOT simple, however. The story is complex, as are the refreshingly normal characters, all of whom have great integrity, and the setting is unique! How many novels these days are set in Montana? Far from the bright lights of Broadway or the hustle-bustle of Hollywood.
Why Montana? Because Montana is the only state in the union that allows ‘double-proxy’ marriages. This type of service is rare, to be sure, but may be the only recourse, when (as in this story) the bride and groom are both in the military – the bride in Germany and the groom in Afghanistan. Each of them has a cousin with strong ties to Montana, so on a wintry day in late November, Jenny Lindstrom, best friend of the bride and Sam Kelley (cousin of the groom) come to Livingston to do this favor for their respective cousins.
Of course, there are problems. Sam was held up by a serious road accident that blocked the only road accessible to him, and the presiding judge left early for the weekend. The first meeting between Jenny and Sam is one of those ‘meet awful’ episodes, causing sparks to fly in every direction. The weather – and circumstance – means that Sam, a financial manager from Chicago, will have to stay for the weekend.
Jenny and her family are integral to the small town of Gardiner, as Sam soon comes to realize while he is totally the big-city guy. During the following two days, in spite of these differences, they very quickly fall in love, even while disputing the possibility of such a happening. Sam cannot move to Gardiner – there would be no work for him, but Jenny couldn’t move to Chicago, either, so far away from her family.
Once the brief proxy ceremony is over – traumatic for each of them, they’d never expected to say those words more than once in their lifetime – they separate for nearly a month of holiday sadness. Separately, Jenny and Sam think of a possible compromise – life in a smaller city such as Great Falls, Montana, where Sam could find work, but with the amenities that appeal to Jenny. Plus, she’d be close to her family.
The author has created a terrific sense of place in this novel – her debut in print. Not all readers will enjoy so much introspection, although many of them will. However, everyone should enjoy meeting Jenny and Sam. In fact, any of the Lindstrom ‘boys’ would be excellent candidates for a sequel!
|Page Count||165 pages|
|Publisher||Boroughs Publishing Group|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|