Table for Two (Where love will find you). Marla Miniano. 2010. Summit Books, 144p.
Marla Miniano’s comeback title after the successful Every Girl’s Guide Trilogy radiates an ephemeral set-up of a not-so-fairy-tale-like stories of this little thing we all call love. Table for Two is not just a simple compilation of five short stories with titles Fresh,Timeout, All The Best, This Closure, and Table for Two. It actually depicts an uncomplicated setting on how a quiescent table with two chairs witness a variety of love stories–from break-ups to hook-ups, from sad endings to happy beginnings.
Fresh paints a picture of college lovebirds, Mandy and Tristan, who are in the verge of stepping to the closing stages of their relationship. The second, Timeout, accounts the part when Jill, a teacher, accepts the challenge of being “dateless” for a number of months. All the Best shares the peculiar story of how Carl would try to discourage his best friend, Blake, into marrying Vicky. With a very interesting story title, This Closure talks about how hard it is for Lucas to get over Bettina. Lastly, Table for Two revolves around Mandy’s (from the first story, Fresh) shot in finding her one true love somewhere in the cozy, quiet spot of a small coffee shop, maybe in that cozy, quiet table for two spot in a small coffee shop.
On a personal note, This Closure made a very interesting impact to most people who have read it, including me. Mainstreamed romcom flicks and romantic novels often depicts the girl being the one who couldn’t get over a guy, always the girl’s perspective. How she would mope and wallow, and would try to move on. But this succinct tale of Lucas gives its readers a quite distinct point-of-view about how a guy would actually move on from a tragic end of a supposed-to-be blossoming relationship. But mope and wallow first. So girls aren’t the only ones who turns into this sleeping post-break-up downfall. Guys are just more subtle about this part of their lives.
To magnify this, here’s a relatable quote that would stop you from your tracks and would actually shed you some, umm, light:
“…falling in love and trying to make someone fall in love with you and working to stay in love and forcing yourself to fall out of love with someone who will never love you back is much, much more exhausting than being alone.” -LUCAS
Miniano was able to defy the cliches of love stories and romantic getaways. How? By simply illustrating the reality behind crashed relationships, the beauty of hooking up, the significance of tying the knots, the uphill struggle of moving on, and the splendor of second chances and next chapters.
Amusingly, this book is a page turner in its own modest way. Every turn would actually offer you Facebook-status worth of quotable lines and interesting phrases. Each mini tale would give its readers unexpected pangs and sudden smirks while indulging over the words dancing inside the characters’ head.
In general, Table for Two is for people who never fails to believe and fight for love. It’s for someone who have undergone a series of almost-there relationships but never really quite been there. It’s for someone who is about to make the biggest decision of his or her life and actually realize that once you’ve made that move, there should be no stepping back. Finally, it’s for someone who have freshly emerged from a sad separation and is willingly and wholeheartedly open to give love another shot. This book is for someone who loves. Period.