Oct 02, Marijah rated it did not like it I seriously think most people giving this high marks are commenting on the play itself rather than the writing job in this script. Apparently Mr. If you have to explain after a line what the joke is in that line, maybe you should rethink your writing style. Great play but lousy script in serious need of an editor. This collection, book-ended with plays involving the same characters, takes common expressions about love and dramatizes them, like having a "broken heart," and waiting for the "other shoe to drop" in love, and getting "weak in the knees" due to love.
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The story begins with Ginette and Pete who are in this awkward stage of their first love when it is not clear if their best friend is something more, although the special feeling, special ligtness that fills them when they are together is a pretty good indicator.
Ginette and Pete are close, very close, but they are also at the beginning of their relationship, so there is so much they still have to learn about their new role Do you remember this feeling when logically you knew that you still have to discover so much about the person you fell in love with, but somehow you felt you know them better than anybody else because you were so attuned to to their every breath and slightest movement?
I was struck by how poetic this novel was and how streamlined at the same time. You guess quickly where a particular story is going and what the author is telling you, and yet, you let yourself get transported into this wonderful metaphoric place. I was actually in a production of Almost, Maine the play, so when I saw this up for grabs I knew I wanted to read it. It was just as poignant as its theatrical counterpart, with some really beautiful additions thrown in.
The dialogue was largely the same, but the thing we really gain is the motivation of these characters and what these lines mean. In a show, the actors have to figure it out for themselves; we spend weeks dissecting scenes and bits of dialogue to get to the meat of the characters, but here, John has space to make Almost come to life himself, and he knocked it out of the park.
In the play, none of the characters in these small vignettes interact with one another. It flits from scene to scene to scene with little effort, showing snapshots of life in this small Maine town.
However, here in the book, we see how all of their lives are interwoven as we follow Ginette as she walks home from confessing her love to her best friend. Magical things begin to happen all around her as relationships begin, end, and everything in between. The book literally comes full circle as Ginette makes it to her house on the far side of Maine and realizes she needs to return to the start to be with the boy she loves.
The hope of a fledgling love is the buoy of the story as we hit highs and lows throughout. It cuts open the truth in love; that it can end, that it can be ugly, that it can be crazy and unexpected. It also does such a wonderful job of representation. All of these characters and their separate scenes are taken directly from the play; save for one. There is a new edition of a tale of a non-binary person as they try to figure out their life when their uncle dies, bringing their best friend back into town who has some news of her own.
The personalities of all the characters differ so greatly and it is ridiculously easy to relate to at least one. Love changes you. Love can be found in the most unlikely of places. This book accomplishes exactly what the show sets out to do in that it opens your eyes to love through some really beautiful, funny, and at times, sad cliches. I recommend picking this book up for sure, and if you ever get a chance to see the play, take it.
The feeling of love.
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Almost, Maine: A Novel