It’s Great to Have Friends by Margo Hoornstra
Thank you for having me here today on my Saturday In Serendipity tour.
My topic today on the importance of friends, is appropriate here since Barbara and I are on-line friends and also contributors to The Roses of Prose blog – Where Romance Is Never Out of Season.
Saturday In Serendipity is a compilation of three novellas which revolve around a twentieth high school reunion at Serendipity High School in Vermont. Serendipity is a mid-sized town located on the shores of Lake Champlain.
Three Strikes Thursday, leaves Barry Carlson, professional baseball’s former golden boy, with some serious making up to do. A love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude of his youth has finally caught up with him. Older, maybe wiser, he’s eager to catch up on what’s important in life. A home and family, someone to love who loves him back just as deeply. Amanda Marsh is the one Barry foolishly pushed away. He has his work cut out for him if he hopes to ever win her back.
Two On Tuesday, has Serendipity High School graduate Blane Weston viewing her upcoming class reunion as a chance to renew a former, but not forgotten, love. As she gets ready to attend the week-end festivities, enter Matt Durand, someone she’s recently considered then rejected as a potential business partner. Turns out he won’t take no for an answer and has other ideas for her activities at the reunion. Things go from bad to worse in light of his current involvement with some of the people from her past.
One Fateful Friday, is a holiday story of forever friends Jake and Bethany, that takes place between Halloween and Christmas Eve, after the reunion. Soul mates through high school, Jake and Bethany went their separate ways after graduation. Brought together twenty years later, both involved with careers in healthcare, they assume they’ll re-establish their relationship with flawless compatibility. Except, they now hold different philosophies that might jeopardize their chance at a happy future.
Recently, the six major characters now happily together as couples, Bethany and Jake; Blane and Matt; Amanda and Barry, spent some time being interviewed by another one of my friends, Silver James. Here’s what happened.
Are you familiar with this saying? A good friend will come bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying….’Dang that was fun.’ Who would be sitting next to you?
Barry glances over at Jake. “He and I have always had each other’s backs. Though we lost touch for a few years after high school, when I returned to town recently, our friendship picked up just where we left off.” Looking toward Amanda with a smile on his face, he takes her hand. “It was Jake who talked Amanda into taking me back when the class trouble maker, Aaron Goodwin and his big mouth tried to break us up.”
Friends with benefits? Good idea or too complicated and why?
“I’ll respond to that one.” Bethany sits forward. “You may have heard the line – What kind of woman buries her husband in the afternoon and sleeps with his best friend that night?” She looks shyly at Jake. “That woman would be me. It’s what I did.”
He’s quick to correct her. “What we did. It wasn’t all Bethy’s fault. I had something to do with our night in my hotel room.”
Bethany smiles at him. “Let’s just say I spent too many years married to the wrong man. Good thing my best friend Jake was willing to wait for me to realize that.”
“I knew Bethy was the only one for me even before we graduated from high school.” Jake’s gaze dropped to the floor then back at her. “I just didn’t have the guts to put my thoughts and feelings into action. Until recently.”
When you first met who is now your significant other, were you friends, enemies, or lovers?
“That question is for us.” Blane and Matt both speak at the same time, then exchange glances and grin.
Matt continues. “She disliked me from the get go.”
Blane quickly breaks in. “Only because you tried to undermine my position as head of the construction company.”
“I was protecting you from some thug who trespassed on your property.”
“I could have handled—was handling—the situation just fine by myself.”
“Whatever.” Blane puts both arms around Matt and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “Then shortly after that little incident, when I flew out to my reunion in Serendipity, Matt followed me.”
“We still had business to—uh—discuss.”
“As I said, he followed me, and all I could think was how am I supposed to enjoy the trip back to my past when he’s so bent on dictating my future?”
How important are your friends to your Happy Ever After?
Barry reaches up to rub his palm across the back of Amanda’s shoulders. “Our turn, huh?” Bringing his hand down, he takes hold of hers.
“Barry and I dated in high school.” Looking at Barry, Amanda sighs. “But our relationship didn’t work out.”
He’s more than ready to elaborate. “At that point in our lives, back when I was an arrogant ass.”
Amanda smooths her hand over the top of his. “You had a lot going on. I mean how many guys are offered a contract to play professional baseball while they’re still in high school?”
Barry lowered his eyes. “Unfortunately, all the attention went immediately to my head.”
“Both of them really.” Though blushing, Amanda laughs.
“Only temporarily.” Barry cut in with the correction. “Once I got reacquainted with Amanda, any other woman didn’t stand a chance.”
Describe the perfect night with friends.
“You mean without each of our life partners here?” The three guys practically speak in unison, then eye each other and chuckle.
Jake, the informal leader of the group is the first to grow serious. “A perfect night with friends is just that—a perfect night with friends. The location or other particulars don’t really matter.”
Barry’s up next. “We could all be having dinner together at some high end restaurant or a burger joint. On a luxurious and expensive cruise ship or backpacking—survivalist style—in some rough and rugged terrain.
Matt finishes their group thought. “It’s the people you’re with that make up the perfect night with friends.”
My Review- Saturday in Serendipity by Margo Hoornstra- Barbara Edwards
Margo creates a delightful cast of characters in this anthology. The stories circle around the people who reunite for their 20th class reunion.
In Three Strikes Thursday I was hooked on the first page by baseball jock Barry Carlson who made a stupid mistake with the girl he loved Amanda Marsh and left her behind when he went on to a successful sport career. He returns to coach the local team, but Amanda also works there. Unable to resolve their differences, they also admit their love never died. The resolution is sweet.
Two onTuesday brings together Matt Durand, an investment financier & Blane Weston, head of a construction company looking for investors. He’s fascinated by a beautiful woman in a man’s job and wants to pursue a relationship. Blane has worked hard to be a success and resists his efforts because she feels he doesn’t respect her. She hopes to find another investor while at the reunion, but Matt throws a wrench in the works. Another great resolution.
Jake Holbrook & Dr. Bethany Thomas were friends since third grade and thought that love would bind them together. A misunderstanding has Jake leaving. Instead Bethy marries another only to spend years in regret. Jake hires Bethany to head the clinic at his hospital. Bethany is fighting to recover from years of mental abuse and every error on Jake’s part widens the wedge. The way they find the way to a new life together is well written and believable.
I recommend this to everyone who believes in love and happily ever after.