by Rosy Thornton
December 11th 2008 by Headline Review
Hardcover, 320 pages
0755345541 (isbn13: 9780755345540)
Fiction/Literature, Romance, British
4 of 5 stars
"Autocare Direct Motor Insurance."
Mina - Wilhemina - is a young, single mother who works at the Sheffield call center for car insurance. Peter is a Cambridge geography professor who's just crashed his car into a tree stump. They're both single, both parents. In America, this would be a definite One Fine Day type of hit. But they're not in America; they're in England. And the class difference between them is palpable, pronounced. Throw in Peter's colorful next door neighbors, Mina's deadbeat little sister, and three of the most fun children in literature, and you've got a full-on MIAM (Make It A Movie).
I almost hate to recommend Crossed Wires as a MIAM, so read it first before Thornton sells a screenplay. Thornton's writing is so cozy - the written equivalent of a roaring fire and the perfect pot of tea. She's speaks directly to those of us who grew up and/or raised children during Harry Potter. She makes Dr. Seuss references. She speaks directly to so many experiences - male couples who have lived together their whole lives but never clarified their relationship; parenting twins; scraping by on just enough money; reading in a university library. Your feeling is that she must have snuck into your brain and shared your experiences, so keen are her portrayals.