Verdict: COVERED PACES is a warmly rendered and, ultimately, affecting story about a woman attempting to let go of past mistakes and make a better future for herself.
Tired of unfaithful lovers, a woman moves from Los Angeles back to her hometown of Miami, Florida, only to discover that true love starts with oneself in this moving story.
Los Angeles, with its emphasis on looks, ego, and proximity to fame, does little for aspiring actress Linette, who after yet another failed romance decides to pack it up and move back into her parents’ home in Miami, Florida. She quickly reconnects with her family and her old flame Eben, who tells her he’s a doctor living in Florida. He and Linette begin seeing each other again while Linette tries to work out what it is she wants to do with her life. Her brother Leo has been accepted to a university in Boston, where he also has an apartment with an extra room. Linette decides to go back to school and take her brother up on his offer, but not before her heart is broken yet again by Eben, who in fact is only visiting Florida to help his father recover from a stroke, and plans to accept a residency at Brooklyn Hospital in New York. Linette feels he has lied to her, and storms out on him. Will her move to Boston allow her to find her path in life and a better relationship, or is she doomed to keep repeating the same patterns?
Although the initial chapter of the novel feels overly stylized (perhaps as an attempt to convey the author’s impression of the artificial atmosphere of Hollywood parties and life), the novel quickly settles into a heartfelt and vividly detailed prose style that warmly captures the interpersonal dynamics of Linette’s family and the pulse and environs of Miami. Linette is a flawed yet fully fleshed out protagonist, Her experience with attending New Year’s Eve celebrations in both a club and later at her family’s home are beautifully conveyed. Linette’s various romantic adventures—including a relationship she takes up with a man in Boston who has yet more secrets of his own—are captured with raw, unglamorous precision. Linette’s struggle to find herself and stop seeking the approval of men who are themselves unbalanced or unwilling to be fully honest becomes the narrative thread of the novel.
COVERED PACES is a warmly rendered and, ultimately, affecting story about a woman attempting to let go of past mistakes and make a better future for herself.