The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is magnificent. That's the word for it. Every now and then, I read a novel that changes the way I think about the world, and about myself. Every now and then, a book wraps itself around my heart and stays there forever, becoming a permanent part of me. This is one of those books.
The story is told by Cameron, a young woman just shy of thirty, who has drifted into a job as personal companion to famous 92 year old Pulitzer-winning historian Oliver Doucet. One day an envelope arrives, in Cameron's own handwriting. If that isn't odd enough, the letter turns out to be from Sonia Gray, Cameron's closest friend when the two were teenagers and young women. Though they've been estranged for eight years, now Sonia is writing, because she had a dream about Cameron, and because she is getting married, and feels lost that Cameron won't be her maid of honor, as she had always assumed she would be.
Remember that friend who was so close to you, knew you so well, that it seemed impossible that the two of you would ever drift or break apart? The kind of friend who could finish your sentences, hold your secrets, copy your handwriting, and who knew you better than anyone else on earth? Cameron and Sonia were that kind of friends.
Cameron doesn't answer the letter, but Oliver's last wish is that she deliver a package from Oliver to Sonia. So, she sets off in search of her old friend, and what she recounts and what she comes to understand on that journey made this book unforgettable.
On a personal note, I really identified with Cameron. For one thing she is tall, six feet two, three inches taller them I am. Her bluff, military father gives her the rather mocking nickname "Camazon", but Sonia turns it into an endearment. What could have led Cameron to speed away from a Texas gas station, leaving Sonia alone in the middle of nowhere, and then not speak to her for eight years?
I don't want to give any of the story away, by saying more. I will just say that this is an absolutely absorbing read, graced with so many moments that ring so true and universal that any woman will instantly recognize them. I loved this book, fell in love with this book, and have put it on my "special" bookshelf with the ones that mean the most to me. If you've ever loved and lost a friend who was like your other half, then you must read "The Myth Of You & Me."
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