When life is stressful, it’s nice to have a light hearted book to curl up with as the cool fall weather takes hold. The Boy is Back is the story of golf legend Reed Stewart and the high school sweetheart he’d left behind, Becky Flowers. After a mishap Prom night senior year, Reed left town never to return for ten years. Becky tries to contact him through various means, but she never hears from him again. After her father’s death, she takes over the family moving business.
Reed comes back to town after his parents are arrested for not paying their bill at a local eatery. Or rather paying their bill with a stamp that they believe is worth $400, but is only worth $2. Reed and his two siblings find out things are much worse. Although their parents had a lot of money, it is gone, and have become hoarders with their home in disrepair. How will Reed help his parents and will he be able to patch up his relationship with them and his siblings? Ten years later, is it too late for him to have a chance with Becky again? Does Becky want a chance with him with her business and boyfriend?
I really enjoyed The Boy is Back. Cabot’s novels are also enjoyable with fun characters and storylines. I really like how this book was set up as an epistolary novel – although not the letters of an old fashioned epistolary novel, but a modern one where we get the story through a variety of means including texts, journals, e-bay postings, interview transcriptions, etc. It also included pictures of items for sale (Reed’s mother is always selling cat figurines) and of their hoarding basement (looked a little too much like my basement for comfort). I had read and loved The Boy Next Door (almost ten years ago) that had the same concept, but was told more through emails at that time. I enjoyed an update to the epistolary novel.
I also LOVED that part of the romance between Reed and Becky is that they talk to each other with Jane Austen quotes. I love this meet cute with Jane Austen.
“I thought I would die of disdain until Reed looked at the book I was sneak-reading (because Government was so boring) and said, ‘There are so few people whom I really love and still fewer of whom I think well.’
I stared at him in shock. ‘You’ve read Pride and Prejudice?’
‘Yes, Flowers.’ He smirked. ‘I can read, you know.’
It was as if he’d peered into my brain, No my soul.”
I also loved when Reed is trying to woe Becky back after a ten year absence, he harkens back to my favorite Austen novel, Persuasion, which also involves an aborted romance and eight year separation by writing this in an email.
“And despite what you may think, I have pictured us meeting again. This is embarrassing to admit, but for years I’ve had this fantasy that when I came back to Bloomville, it would be as a rich man, like Captain Frederick Wentworth in
Persuasion by Jane Austen. Do you remember him?”
The Persuasion theme continues in a text to Becky toward the end of the novel.
“Fine, we can do that. As soon as you confess that you wrote, ‘You pierce my soul, I offer myself to you again with a heart even more you own than when you almost broke it, ten years ago’ beneath my senior photo.”
Overall, The Boy is Back is a fun story with a great romance, and a wonderful love letter to Persuasion for any Jane Austen fans.
Book Source: Review Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour. Check out this link for a complete tour schedule.