Sunday, October 15, 2023

All Alone With You, by Amelia Diane Coombs

When senior Eloise discovers that she needs some community service on her transcript if she's to have a hope of getting accepted by USC, she begrudgingly signs up.  The placement (at an agency that supports seniors through phone calls and home visits) is completely outside Eloise's comfort zone.  She's an anti-social loner who hates talking with strangers, but she needs the credit and she's driven and stubborn enough that she dives in.  The results are pretty disastrous until a coworker named Austin takes her to visit Marianne Landis.

Marianne is a septuagenarian rock star who once fronted a group called the Laundromats, who had a string of hits in the 1970s and early 1980s.  And, as stubborn as Eloise is, she makes a perfect match for curmudgeonly Marianne.  Eloise, who never thought she needed anyone or their help, discovers that Marianne is a fount of wisdom.  Most pressingly so, when Eloise finds to her horror that she is falling in love with Austin.

An above average romance with a set of life lessons in it.  Eloise and Austin are fine in their roles, but the romance follows the fairly conventional storyline and won't surprise at all.  Marianne, however is an absolute hoot and I could well have enjoyed a book about her alone.  I had a mental picture the whole time of Joan Jett and it wouldn't surprise me if Ms. Jett partly inspire the character (although there are plenty of differences).  The idea of a rock star having life lessons to hand out like a rock-and-roll Master Miyagi is hilarious in itself but who doesn't enjoy a story about a youngster learning at the feet of a senior?  The book has feel good written all over it and a brisk-paced storytelling made this an enjoyable light read.

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