Peter Golden tackles all that in his novel Comeback Love.
The book alternates between the present and the past. In the present, Gordon Meyers is a successful consultant. He has a son he adores
and an ex-wife. But now his life is in turmoil and it leads him back to
his first love Dr. Glenna Rising. Wanting to know what went wrong, kept me turning the pages. You meet these two likeable people, and wonder what kept them apart?
Thirty-five years in the past, Gordon and Glenna were coming of age amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War. Gordon was trying to the dodge the draft by continuing his studies in college. When Gordon met Glenna he was struggling to make it as a writer, and she was a med student heavily involved in abortion rights. The attraction was mutual, but do they really belong together? I wondered if Gordon fit into her world. They seemed to be polar opposites. She's immersed in her studies and social responsibility. Gordon doesn't care a lot about college, he is simply trying to avoid going off to war. Somehow they make their relationship work. He might not like her friends, but Gordon can be witty and funny around them. She can easily get along with his family.
But something is missing from their relationship. It's the elephant in the room. They love each other, but they always seem to be testing each other. When Gordon betrays Glenna in the worst way, he decides against telling her. She was probably just testing him, so why tell the truth? Is he afraid of losing her or of getting caught? Neither one of them is acknowledging something is missing. What was it? In the present, Gordon and Glenna try to discover what went wrong. They discover that the hurt is still there. Gordon fell in love and married someone else, but he always wondered what a life with Glenna would have been like. Glenna became a successful pediatrician, but her marriage wasn't out of love but for convenience.
The book has themes everyone can relate to. Relationships are never easy, and they're filled with ups and downs. I found myself rooting for Gordon and Glenna. If given a second chance at love, would you take it? Most of us would probably say yes.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review.