Every once in a while, everyone (at least everyone who reads for pleasure) needs a good novel to curl up to during rainy evenings under the cozy warmth of a comforter surrounded by familiar it's-so-fluffy-I'm-gonna-die pillows.
The kind of book that reminds one of the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the yellow lights of somewhere classy but also laid back where people can sit all day and talk or just mind their own emo sentimentalities. The class of literature that makes one think of the pleasure of people watching and conjuring stories based on the looks and body gestures of two connecting individuals or a lone entity sitting by the windowsill
watching rain droplets slide through the glass like a physical weather-related manifestation for all the uncried tears humanity has been keeping inside.
This is exactly what Marla Miniano's novel, Table For Two, felt like. Uncannily similar to listening to a good friend tell her story in detail over a cup of overly expensive creamy latte with pretty boy baristas blending frappe just a few feet away.
Made up of five interconnecting short stories which happen to collide in a serendipitous yet unassuming coffee shop beside a Korean grocery store, the novel is a treasure box for romance, angst and everything in between, told in a witty yet thought-provoking manner. There may not be stand out one-liners that readers could post on Twitter and on Facebook in an attempt to sound well-read and deep, but then the narration flows effortlessly and engages readers right from the very first page.
It is worth mentioning the 4th short story of the book entitled "This Closure". It is a gripping piece no doubt everyone can relate to and will be in awe of the raw yet unedited, hauntingly delivered emotions beautifully put together by melancholy memory montages and candid thought monologues.
All in all, even though the stories' connections to each other can be wrapped up a bit more neatly, the book is a delicious mix of familiar stories to keep one occupied in an otherwise another cold and dreary rainy evening. All you will need is the book, a good light source to keep the migraines away (side effect of being an habitual ebook reader), a cup of your favorite caffeinated hot beverage and you will feel like you're in the company of good friends and greater stories, perfect to keep the loneliness at bay.