‘Time Flies’ by Claire Cook: A perfect beach read


Rating: 5 stars

A summer book list isn’t complete without a Claire Cook book on it. Her newest, “Time Flies,” will please her fans and garner her new ones. It’s about Melanie, a woman of a certain age, whose husband has just left her for another woman.

In Cook’s books, there is always a catalyst — something that galvanizes the protagonist into action. In “Time Flies,” the catalyst is whether Melanie will attend her high school reunion with her best friend, BJ. It’s just after the separation, and not only is Melanie feeling unwanted, but she is also suffering from a new phobia: driving on a highway.

Claire did her homework when writing this book, and when Melanie talks about her passion — metalwork sculpture — it feels real. It also feels fascinating. I’d love to know what Cook did to sound so authentic. Did she actually attend metalworking classes?

Of course, Melanie decides to go to the reunion. She travels back to New England, where she grew up and where her estranged sister still lives. Before she leaves Atlanta, where she moved when her soon-to-be-former husband got a new job, she meets the owner of a local restaurant. He calls because the sculpture he purchased from Melanie sprang a leak during the dinner rush hour. She not only fixes the leak but manages to intrigue the owner.

Then, to complicate matters, a former beau from high school (whom she can barely remember at first) emails her. They begin an online flirtation, and she grows excited about meeting him again at the reunion.

But before she can attend the reunion, she must face her phobias, talk to her sister, deal with the impending divorce, and re-live some wild times with her best friend.

It’s fun and games, but it’s also what Claire Cook excels at: delivering a message. And this message is spelled out in the title, “Time Flies.” What Melanie realizes by the end of the story (no spoilers) is that “Time flies. Time flies faster every year. Time flies whether you’re having fun or not, whether you’re living your life big or small, whether you surround yourself with fear or with laughter.”

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Touchstone (a division of Simon & Schuster), for review purposes.