Dear Ms. Carr:
Zoey Emerson and Robbie Granger have been best friends for twenty five years and roommates for the last several year. She and three other women who live in the same townhome association make New Year’s resolutions. Zoey’s is to reveal to Robbie that she loves him and see if their relationship can move beyond just friends. But her plans were scuttled when a lump in her breast is revealed to be cancerous.
Robbie’s band is on the cusp of a breakout, touring with one of the biggest rock bands in the country, but he flies back immediately with three stops left on the tour to be with Zoey. He only knows that she called him and sounded awful.
Flashbacks are used throughout the story to develop the longstanding friendship between the two. Rather than focus on the move from friends to lovers, much of the emotional connection between the two are told in flashbacks beginning when the two are children and moving forward, highlighting important turning points in their lives.
While the outtakes were sweet, I was impatient for the story of the couple now. I wanted to see how the two dealt with the transition but it was mostly conflictless. There were no moments of awkwardness as the two moved from friends into a romantic relationship. The dark moment shared between the two was brief.
Robbie’s distaste for all things associated with being a rock star makes the path for true happiness fairly obvious, so long as Zoey can beat cancer. Given that Robbie hates the road, doesn’t enjoy the live performances, and only wants to write and make music paired with the fact that this is a romance and thus it is unlikely Zoey will die from cancer at the end of the story, the outcome is predetermined.
The romance, though, is tender. Robbie’s character is indefatigable in his support. He is there for every step of Zoey’s recovery from all day chemo infusions to the post treatment illness. He sings to Zoey through the tough times and Zoey provides support for Robbie in whatever course he chooses in his life. Zoey’s uncertainty about whether Rob could be happy away from his band could have been played for stronger effect. The biggest problem in this book is that it is slow moving and at times more of a diary of Zoey’s fight with cancer than anything else. It would be a pleasurable read at the time time and right moment. C+