It's a story about Rae O'Brien, a single mother back in the dating scene, being encouraged by close friends to find "the one." But, like many of us, Rae is vegan and it is easy to relate to her trials and tribulations in the dating scene as one man after another discovers her veganism and makes faux pas. In her day-to-day gig, Rae hates her job, but presses through each day with the hope of doing something more meaningful in life. Meanwhile, her teenage son, Carson, had turned against her by eating meat and criticizing her diet.
Another story unfolds early on about a Mexican boy named Fran who is in high school and is smitten over a classmate, Allie, who he soon discovers is vegan. Fran has never met a vegan before. Allie's father, Granger, divorced his wife after his daughter and he turned vegan. And Allie falls for a meat-eating guy named Chris who barely understands her world. He is cute though and perhaps she can show him the way.
These two worlds collide when Carson is involved in a motorcycle accident outside of Granger's home. Granger calls the ambulance and waits at the hospital for the boy's parents. Eventually, Rae shows up and is so grateful that this cowboy, Granger, found her son and saved his life. As generally caring people, they stay in touch -- Rae offering updates about Carson and Granger inquiring as to how he is progressing. Before long, Granger and Rae become interested in each other and decide to go on a date.
The story that unfolds is one to which most people will relate -- from the frustrations with dating and trying to get to know and understand someone new to balancing dating, work, and home life. All the while, wondering if the decisions one makes are the right ones. The twists will keep your eyes glued to the pages and the turmoil will keep you interested.
A love for animals is a central point in these stories and for those who spend a lot of time volunteering to help animals, this passage may feel uncannily familiar:
"It rained the night before, so she wore her rubber boots, purposely stepping in puddles and mud. She took in a deep breath, reveling in the scent of the damp ground mixed with hay. At this moment, there was no place she'd rather be. Tending to the animals was more than enjoyable to Allie. She fed them and sheltered them but the cows and sheep and chickens gave her so much in return. They fed her soul. With every encounter, Allie was enriched: a nuzzle from a cow, a gentle head butt of a sheep or the way the chickens walked around Allie's leg and pecked at her shoes. They didn't want anything in return. There was no motive, no passive/aggressive behavior. Their emotions were diaphanous. Their love unconditional."
As you can see, the author, Carol Treacy, has written an eloquent tale with just enough detail to make the story come alive. She was born and raised in Studio City and Tarzana and now resides in Petaluma, California, where this story takes place. She continues to write about animal rights issues, believing that one day compassion toward animals will be the norm and that non-human animals will be seen as fellow earthlings, living in harmony not subjugation.
This book would make a great gift for anyone who loves fictional stories. To get a copy, you can find it on Amazon here. Or to get a bonus gift of the truffles mentioned in the book, buy direct at http://caroltreacy.
Full Disclosure: Although the book was provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion.