Years ago, I found myself wandering through Chapters, perusing the fiction section. This wasn’t new to me and it’s still something I do quite regularly. I especially do it on bad days, as if proximity to so many books can make things better. It always does. As I peruse, I look for interesting looking books because despite the saying, you can almost always judge a book by its cover.
A book caught my eye because there, on the cover, was a pair of yellow rain boots. As a child, I loved a book by Paulette Bourgeois called Big Sarah’s Little Boots and the cover reminded me of it. I picked it up and thought the story sounded lovely. Little did I know that I would meet a character that I continue to visit, a character named Cornelia Brown. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the book, Belong to Me, was not the first book Marisa de los Santos had written about Cornelia. I went in search of the first book, Love Walked In way back in 2009 (I’ve used the receipt as the book mark ever since) and what I think will be a lifelong friendship started.
Love Walked In and Belong to Me have always felt that way. Heart-warming and lovely despite a cast of wonderful characters facing serious and tough challenges. It’s not all smiles and laughter but despite challenging and at times, sad situations, there is always goodness. It shines through in characters like Cornelia, Clare and Teo, Cornelia’s big family and so many more fun and quirky characters. I read tons of great books that could be called somber or even depressing and I love a good book cry but sometimes, I want a happy ending and if not completely happy, at least good. In other words, I want to feel hugged
What has always stood out to me most about these two books that I re-read at least once a year is that I actually wish Cornelia and I could be friends. If I think too seriously about it, I know it sounds silly, but she reminds of those great characters I connected with as a child. And she is just so awesome! It’s because of that “friendship” and my love of the first two books, that I was excited to see Marisa de los Santos had written a third book, this time about Clare. Cornelia met Clare when Clare was eleven and in I’ll Be Your Blue Sky, we meet Clare as an adult, engaged to be married. And just as Love Walked In and Belong to Me before it, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky delivered exactly what I hoped it would.
I don’t want to give too many plot details because I don’t want to give anything away and too many details from the first book might spill over into the next book so I’ll say this. They are three beautifully written books featuring an interesting, quirky and wonderful cast of characters. If you are looking for a lovely read, or perhaps need to read a book that delivers a hug, check out Love Walked In. I hope you’ll love Cornelia, Clare, Teo and the rest, as much as I do.