Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication: January 2, 2012By: Poppy
Can four minutes really make that much difference? If you're Hadley Sullivan, four minutes can change your life.
At first glance, I was expecting this to be a light, easy read but I was wrong. While this story does have it's pleasantly romantic moments, it's overall theme of heartfelt love runs throughout the whole book.
When Hadley misses her flight to London she's both relieved and frustrated. She doesn't really want to go to across the pond to begin with but the thought of waiting around in a crowded airport for a few hours waiting to catch the next flight out isn't all that appealing either.
Hadley struggles with claustrophobia and even the ceiling of the airport starts to feel as if it's closing in on her. She tries to focus on staying calm but nothing seems to work and just as she's reached her point of major freak out, a cute boy with an English accent comes to her rescue. Oliver offers to help her with her bags and within a matter of minutes, they discover that not only are they on the same flight, they're sitting one seat apart. Coincidence or fate?
Over the next few hours, Hadley and Oliver talk about anything and everything from family to respective "exes". They even discuss the pros and cons of love and marriage. He continues to help her through a few more "episodes" and they share some really sweet moments as well. She tells Oliver about all she's been through in the past year and how she's traveling to London for a wedding. When he shares with her that his trip involves the church he grew up attending, she assumes he's going for similar reasons. When they arrive and she discovers the real reason for his visit home, her ideas about love, marriage and forgiveness will be challenged in ways she never imagined. Hadley will see first hand how the seemingly insignificant things can impact not only our lives but those around us as well.
I enjoyed this book and how author, Smith painted love as picture, allowing the reader to see that "love" isn't just a story being told between a boy and a girl. It's also how a parent communicates love to their child when their own words don't come easily; like a light in the dark, or words on weathered pages.
“But Hadley understood. It wasn't that she was meant to read them all. Maybe someday she would, but for now, it was more the gesture itself. He was giving her the most important thing he could, the only way he knew how. He was a professor, a lover of stories, and he was building her a library in the same way other men might build their daughters houses.”
Love can also act as a healing balm between two hearts where pain seems to be the common language.
“Because I was with you," he tells her. "I feel better when I'm with you.”
I could identify with Hadley in the respect that I have also claustrophobic moments (I will get off of an elevator if there are too many people on it) and I was about her age when my Dad remarried. I had to be a bridesmaid in the wedding too but I didn't get to make a trip to London for the wedding nor was there a cute boy with an English accent to distract me. *sighs*