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Review: "An Altered Ending" by Megan Trennett

An Altered Ending is available at Amazon.

A short comment about the author at the end of An Altered Ending mentions that Megan Trenett has lived in both small towns and large cities. Living in these areas, she mentions, has given her "the chance to be inspired by different surroundings and the different people these places present". Since I read and enjoyed Megan Trennett’s previous submission, Heart Pulled to Pieces, which instilled in me a tremendous longing for coffee shops and shopping malls, I can well attest that she has a talent for conveying her settings and the characters which inhabit them.

In An Altered Ending, Megan Trennett has moved from shopping mall to university campus. Her heroine, Ellen Mitchell, has spent the six years since her graduation watching her mother suffer from cancer. Her mother’s illness has been the focal point of her life, thus prompting her to abandon the writing career she had once dreamed of and the professor over whom she suffered a chaste case of hero worship and a blossoming friendship.

Ellen’s mother is now residing in an hospice facility, and Ellen is still avoiding personal commitments in order to spend as much time with her as possible, even as her mother advises her to broaden her horizons and seek out some romance in her life. An email from her former professor, Simon Avery, could be the answer to both her social void and her professional dissatisfaction.

Simon asks her to join him for coffee. (For the record, Ellen drinks green tea—but the coffee shop ambience prevails.) At the coffee shop, Simon tells her that his publisher is looking for new authors and has asked for him to send manuscripts from some of his most gifted students. At first, Ellen does not feel up to the task, but after some careful soul searching she decides to put together a manuscript of the book that has been waiting six long years to be written.

What follows is part Friends, part Sex and the City, dosed with a good dollop of the angst-ridden romance we love from the classics. While the manuscript is being written, Ellen enjoys a few platonic dates with Simon, the understanding being that each already has a significant other and that the dates are more literary than romantic. Things however never stay the same for long. One can almost predict the outcome, but the ins and outs of the plot will both amuse and surprise. The reader may even find herself longing to hang out at a university campus, and she will most definitely find the need to have a long chat with friends at the nearest corner coffee shop.


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