by Caren Lissner

March 2004
ISBN: 0-373-25052-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

Starting From Square Two, that sums up how Gert Healy is feeling. She’s a young widow, beginning to come back to the surface after nearly drowning in her emotions, following the tragic accidental death of her husband Marc.

Gert and Marc had been a couple for eight years. They met in college, dated, fell in love, and married. All the traditional steps society expects a person to take. When they spoke the vow of till death do us part…Gert had no idea it would be so soon.

In college Gert met not only Marc, but Hallie as well. Hallie was her roommate. Over the years they have remained friends. Gert now has not only her widow support group encouraging her to move on, but Hallie as well. Hallie is assisted by another friend, Erika. Unfortunately Erika may be able to talk the talk, but when it comes to actually walking the walk she has troubles. She is still obsessed with her college boyfriend, Ben. She broke up with him because she thought they weren’t ready for marriage. Ben has moved on, but Erika is still fixating on their relationship.

One evening the three women decide it’s time to mix and mingle. They check out several bars before deciding on the right one. Hallie and Erika have preconceived ideas about the dating world, but Gert appears uncomfortable with it all.

On their night out, Gert is the one approached by a man. It starts as innocent bar talk and progresses into the beginning of a relationship. In my opinion, Hallie and Erika are jealous of the ease in which Gert is able to accept Todd’s word, and the easy pace that she is willing to use to allow for growth of the relationship.

Hallie suggest Gert help to set her up. Todd happily agrees and they set Hallie up with a friend of his. By the end of Starting From Square Two, Hallie appears headed for a happy relationship herself. Erika on the other hand has let her obsession for Ben lead her through some dangerous territory. It takes her friends to rescue her from one situation, which they gladly do. In my opinion however, Erika’s relationship that is beginning at the end of Starting From Square Two, is not a healthy one for either party.

By the end of Starting From Square Two Gert, Hallie, and Erika have come pretty much full circle. Each has learned a lot about themselves and how they interact with others. Even though Gert and her friends are in their late twenties, I believe that women older then they will be able to relate to them. I myself am on the upside of forty and found Starting From Square Two, to be a page turning read.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Sandi.

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