I wish I could love you, but I can’t. This seat is taken.
It took a while for me to really get into the story but once I did, what a unique tale. All those coincidences in life, small and large, often pivotal are orchestrated here by the Coincident Makers. Sometimes they are given personas by humans (children, teens, and adults in need) as they call to imaginary friends and always serving them, so much that one in particular begins to feel used. Guy, Emily and Eric learned their skills together, each now on missions to create events in the lives of their ‘marks’ to lead them to love, their purpose in life, great discoveries, anything that human beings need to accomplish everything, all if it under their watchful eyes and planning. Guy learns he must work with Pierre, a ‘black hat’ coincidence maker, la crème de la crème, who is known for creating complicated coincidences with heavy consequences such as death, illness, accidents, and even murder!
Their feelings, opinions don’t count for much, they do what they are ordered to do. Everything matters, even the seemingly inconsequential incidents, a spilled coffee, a flat tire, a flash of inspiration. Guy is full of doubt, Emily has fallen stupidly in love with him but of his heart, ‘this seat is taken’ and there is no room left for her. The one he loves may as well be a phantom for all the control they have in being together. Now, Pierre must create a chain of events in the life of one Alberto Brown and he enlists Guy for the smaller coincidences. Guy isn’t sure he will be of use, why does the talented Pierre need a small time creator like him anyway? What is so special about the future of Alberto? Alberto seems as unique as the makers themselves. The hulking Alberto has a big destiny, but what if everything doesn’t go according to plan?
Love is also a theme here, be it between the coincidence makers, or the human beings they try to bring together and each of them share a common flaw, their blind spot. It’s hard to review this quirky novel without giving everything away. It is strange at times, funny, silly, witty and my thought was- how did the author invent this story? What fun it’d be to pick his brain. This is a story of people anchored and those adrift, another world within our own and great fun to play with such an idea. Why not? The coincidence makers are often just as clueless as the humans they have to move around!
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
St. Martin’s Press