Crossed Wires, by Rosy Thornton, is a peek inside the life of two not-quite-middle-aged single parents living in England. Mina, the female protagonist, lives in Sheffield, to be precise, which her counterpart Peter nearly always is. The characters meet by chance, and then keep bumping into each other on the phone, as it were, until they have a regular telephone relationship. Their lives are mingled in the text, straightforward tellings of prosaic lives, but they draw you in all the same, waiting and watching to see how their lives will intersect and come together in the end. Will the widowed Peter and his twin girlies find their way? Will Mina and her Sal (Salome? Saleena?) reach out beyond their tight family ties? I thought that I wouldn’t care so much, but that was before I spent naptimes reading this book, and long nights with a flashlight, holding feverish children while they slept. The book pulled me in, and it painted a delightful picture of a place quite foreign to me (a Southern girl living in Washington, D.C.), and yet, it felt so very familiar.
The subtitle says it better than I ever could. Sometimes love is more than an accident of geography.