Sherrill B. (Columbia City, In.)
the first warm evening of the year
It was a very easy read and it definitely held my attention to the end. I liked the idea; I didn't know how it was going to end until the end of the story. The book is full of emotion, as the characters try to figure out just how they fit together in the puzzle of life: Whether to hold on to the past all their life, or move on to new territory and love.
Sandra H. (St. Cloud, Minnesota)
The First Warm Evening of the Year by Jaime M. Saul
How easy it can be for our lives to fall into a pattern, to accept the known over the unknown, and fall into a never-ending routine. We can be so accustomed to the everyday that we forget a time when life was exciting, when we welcomed the new and looked forward to the unexpected. That is where the characters in Jaime Saul’s novel find themselves. All are in their 40’s and have put behind them the exciting days of their youth and early adulthood. Laura and Geoffrey shared a unique friendship in college. Laura married a fellow musician and became part of a well-known jazz group that had gigs worldwide while Geoffrey remained a bachelor who became successful in the arts, had sophisticated friends and a girl friend who demanded nothing of him. Marian, Laura’s best friend, married her brilliant high school sweetheart and together they developed an innovative and successful landscaping business. But then Laura dies of cancer at age 42 and names Geoffrey executor of her will. Arriving in her home town of Shady Grove, NY, he meets Marian and suddenly realized that “No one had ever quite looked at me like that. That’s when I fell in love with her.” But this is not a harlequin romance. Rather, it is a beautifully written story of how love can, if we are willing to let it, change our lives. As the title suggests, for Geoffrey and Marian their meeting is indeed “the first warm evening of the year” that suggests many more to come.
Philip K. (San Anselmo, Ca)
I am an older man who doesn't particularly enjoy love stories as they are often maudlin and unrealistic. The First Warm Evening of the year was neither as it was more character-driven than anything else, and it's characters were people you would want to befriend in life. Beautifully written, there were time I reread paragraphs for their beauty. Highly recommended.
Cam G. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
The First Warm Evening of the Year
Like a mystery story, The First Warm Evening of the Year, held me in its trance. It is a love story, but unlike most romances, it is poignant, heart-rending and suspenseful. Saul's wonderfully crafted characterizations, and his ability to write with compassion and elegance make for a wonderful read.
Julie M. (St. Paul, MN)
Fate or Luck?
This story reinforced my belief that people are put in our path or in our lives for a reason and sometimes one connection can lead to another with another person. Also that not everyone is ready for a committed relationship early in life, but eventually we all seem to desire it.
Caryl L. (Williamsburg, VA)
first warm evening of the year
This is a delightful book telling the story of three lives intertwined in a sea of conflicting emotions and conflicts.
Marion, a widow, satisfied with her stagnant life, after her husband,s death. Geoffrey, hoping to free his busy life in NYC busy with social connections and cocktail parties and anxious to make his life meaningful. Eliot, in love with Marion but unable express it.
Saul has the ability to look into the hearts and minds of his characters. He shows a deep understanding of the human mind and heart.
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
I liked the book, though it bothered me that Marian didn't seem to be able to get past the death of her husband. After all those years, you would think she'd be able to get on with her life. The characters in the book were interesting and described in depth; I had to feel sorry for what they put each other through. At times I wanted to shake all of them!
It surprised me that I wasn't sure, till the end, HOW it was going to end. That was unusual.
I imagine it would provide enough discussion for a reading group, so I would recommend it.