by Bettye Griffin

January 2003
ISBN: 1-58314-276-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Arabesque Books
Mass Market Paperback

If you hated high school, felt invisible, or were tormented by that evil girl who got all the guys and laughed at your clothes than Bettye Griffin’s novel Closer than Close is for you! I must admit up front that this was the most endearing novel I have read in a long, long time. I found this novel to be funny, witty, and at times touching. The premise of this novel is so unique that it makes this book a must read for any women!

Ivy Smith is a very successful businesswomen who discovers one day that all of her high school classmates think she is dead, thanks to that slightly evil girl I mentioned above. Ivy decides to take matters into her own hands and come back from the “dead” at her twentieth reunion. Unfortunately, Ivy has no social life and sets out to find one! Enter, Raymond Jones, a father of two and a blue collar working stiff, who falls head over heels for Ivy! Ivy is thrilled, Raymond is ecstatic, everyone else is, well let’s just say unhappy, disappointed, difficult, I think you get the picture. Ivy and Raymond must come to terms with their relationship, lifestyles, and their own idea about what is right.

I found this novel to be very true to life. How do you deal with falling in love with a man that no one approves of? Can love really conquer all? These are just some of the questions that the author skillfully brings up and answers in this story. I found the character of Ivy to be similar to many women today; she is so focused on her job and her success that she wakes up one day and realizes that she has no social life and no prospects for a personal life. Raymond is a hardworking father who worries about making the best decision for his family. I found his character to be caring, concerned, strong, and to top it off a real nice guy. The plot begins with a premise many can relate to, the infamous high school reunion! Ivy has all the feelings and fears that many of us have experienced when facing a return to high school. This indecision makes Ivy a very real character to the reader and proves that Griffin is a first rate author. The plot is quick moving and touches on many emotional subjects that are all handled brilliantly by the author. I read this book in one sitting from cover to cover and found it to be one of the most enjoyable books I have read all year. I urge you to experience this book for yourselves; it is well worth the time.

Reviewed in April 2003 by Jen.

Read more reviews of Bettye Griffin books.Click Here