The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Seventeen year-old Hadley Sullivan is running to make a flight on time. Four minutes change everything. The flight is to London for her father’s wedding. The wedding she doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid in. The father that was supposed to go to Oxford as a temporary professor only to “fall in love”; which results in him abandoning his wife and daughter back in the states.
Hadley’s mother coerces her to go, using the excuse that she’ll regret it later if she doesn’t. Thus the attempt to make the flight, but stubbornness and defiance lead her to being late; resulting in a chain of events that make her late by four minutes. Does she regret it? Perhaps, but her emotions run the gamut between loyalty and pain. So she has to get a seat on a later flight which only gives her a limited time to make the wedding on time.
In the meantime, she meets Oliver who comes to her rescue in the airport by helping her with her luggage. Is it love at first sight? No, not really but the interest is there. Oliver ends up becoming her rescuer more ways than one. Hadley’s flying phobias have to be dealt with and Oliver distracts her, furthering the beginning of their relationship.
This story while easy to read, and light in nature has its dramatic moments. Mostly they deal with relationship issues. The relationship between Hadley and her father ebbs and flows while she has to forgive him and want to be in his new life. He has the utmost patience with her while she goes through her growth period. Then of course is the relationship between Hadley and Oliver which is blossoming throughout the story. The relationship between Hadley’s mother and her new love interest includes the sub-theme of forgiving to move on, to take risks again in the name of love. The relationship between Hadley and Charlotte (her father’s bride) as Hadley decides if she wants to be part of their new life together.
There is so much here in terms of morality and ethics. Was it right for the dad to cheat on his wife and abandon them? Was it right for him to re-marry and insist his daughter be in the wedding? Was it right for Hadley to act self-centered, even when she has good intentions towards Oliver? Is it right for her to cry over Oliver making herself the center of attention during a pre-reception party?
However, while many of those are obviously wrong, there is a fine grey line where under certain circumstances, they may be right. Here in lies the heart of the story. When is it right for love to be illogical and consequences be damned? Perhaps when it is love at first sight?
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FTC disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by Net Galley for review purposes without compensation.