Easier Said Than Done
by TJ Anthony

"'Given the chance, I would pick her up every day.'"

It is 1981, and Laura Hall and Blake Roberts begin a relationship that challenges their lives. Laura is a young adult who has recently graduated from high school. Pushed by her needs for social acceptance, and living with loneliness augmented by her mother's demands that she abide by a rigid faith that Laura finds isolating, the girl seeks fulfillment in intellectual and emotional pondering. Blake's and her mutual physical, intellectual, and emotional attraction provide opportunities for Laura's growth and personal acceptance on many levels.

Blake is a college student and athlete. His future marriage, career, and lifestyle seem to be in the mold that is about to be set. Both characters experience awakenings. Blake's relationship with Laura is as unexpected and, at first, unwanted as it is revealing. Laura and Blake's dual narrative reflects the uncertainty, fear, acknowledgment, and growth of each about themselves and each other. The story is a microcosm of the choices that many people make: accepted standards versus individual experience and a trade-off of peace and security for the potential for greater fulfillment after some emotional and social upheaval.

The development of a committed relationship between two people is a universal experience. Two young people who are considered to be an unlikely couple but still develop a loving relationship is a common theme in literature as well as life. The strength of Anthony's story is in the careful, often day-by-day development of the tale. The references to middle-class American songs, friends, societal expectations, religion, and many other situations in the 1980s should strike a familiar chord to fifty-plus-year-old readers. Meanwhile, the story's construction and well-drawn characters should attract and hold readers of all ages.

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