WHERE IS HE NOW by Jennifer Greene
April 23, 2005
In WHERE IS HE NOW by Jennifer Greene, Nate Donneli and Jeanne Claire Cassiday are two ex-lovers who were always meant to be. A fifteen-year class reunion is coming up, and this event could be what brings the two together again.
At one time in her life, Jeanne thought for sure that her life and Nate's would be tied together forever. They were sweethearts in high school, but shortly after they both started college, Nate broke off their relationship with no explanation whatsoever.
Jeanne was heartbroken, but in order to get over him she puts her soul into her father's business as a convention event manager, dealing with planning and booking events and also making sure their business stays solvent. While her father was excellent with the customers and clients, he was awful with money.
It is now 15 years later and Jeanne finds herself in charge of the class reunion, along with her friend Tamara, the friend who ended up pursuing her dream and becoming a rock star, and the class nerd Arnold. Jeanne is asked to contact Nate, in the hopes that he will help them with the main speech at the reunion, since he was the one labeled "most likely to succeed". Nate, however, ended up working at his father's garage instead of being the architect he always wanted to be. He felt he was a failure, despite helping to raise his brothers and sisters after his father's death, as well as keeping the business alive.
After learning what happened to Nate after graduation, Jeanne realizes what a success Nate's life really was, but someone needed to point it out to him. There were also feelings of love and attraction between them, and she wanted to resolve any of these feelings before she moved on with her life. She recognized that her love for Nate had stood between her and all the love relationships she had since high school, including a marriage that failed miserably.
Nate now has a successful luxury car business, as well as a precocious teenage daughter. A lot has happened since graduation, and both Claire and Nate slowly rediscover each other and catch up on each other's lives after graduation. Neither had expected to find each other doing what they were doing now, and it was a learning experience for each of them to understand whether their dreams had been fulfilled or not
An interesting subplot involves Arnold, who always had a huge crush on Tamara, and Tamara, who felt that her life was a failure. As the two of them work on the class reunion party, Tamara sees a different side of Arnold and learns a little about her own feelings.
I found myself liking this book, although it wasn't the perfect novel. I enjoyed the various subplots, but felt that there were too many things going on for one book. The story of Arnold and Tamara should have been taken out and saved for a separate book, while the focus should have been on Nate, Claire, and their two families. There was not enough attention made to Claire's father, who I thought had an important story that could have been explored. Overall, however, I feel that this is a book worth reading. It's a good beach read, or can be saved for a rainy day.