A Fender Bender Can Be a Good Thing

Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton

A romantic comedy that is also a cozy story of families with young children. Though at times, the cozy factor is threatened by all kinds of nasty real life troubles—making this the sort of story I enjoy, with the good and the bad all mixed up together (with a strong chance at a happy ending).

Mina works in an insurance company call center, and one day she receives a call from a quite embarrassed man named Peter, a professor who damaged his car while dodging a cat. As sometimes happens in this world, they hit it off immediately—but the situation is unusual because it is an insurance phone call, rather than a social conversation. So both return to their very busy lives—Mina to her role as single mother to Sal, an elementary school girl who could read through an “alien invasion” (I understand that girl), and sister/landlord to her troubled teenaged sister Jess; and Peter to his life as the widowed father of twin girls, Cassie and Kim. Thank goodness Peter’s accident-prone in that vehicle—because after the second insurance call to Mina, she notes his home phone number and they begin a series of phone conversations about their lives, children, and the difficulties they encountered. And thankfully some of these difficulties eventually bring them together to meet, part, and then meet again—for good, one hopes.

As a person who reads for characters, this book was a feast: the protagonists seem immediately real, and I feel like I could jump right into a conversation with even the secondary characters—which is a sign that they were well-drawn, realistic, and likeable. One more appealing factor to this American reader: this is an unabashedly British book, which is something I adore. We think the U.S. and the U.K. are so similar, but when I read words like “pedal bin” and “spacehopper,” I realize: not so. A delightful escape into the lives of some very amiable people.

Thanks to the author for offering and providing a copy of the book–very kind.