In the three generations since Bob Boland’s family settled into the tired townhouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Bob lives, real locals – the guys who deliver the mail, plow the driveways and fix the burners -- have been crowded out by urban tree-huggers and uppity intellectuals with designer dogs. On Bob’s street, they’ve launched a movement to save an antique Japanese maple from a condo developer while nagging him to trim the sun-blocking trees in his own back yard. A sarcastic, jazz-loving radio technician working the night shift and stuck in the past, Bob just wants silence by day so he can sleep, and status quo in his routine.
When romance buds with two very different women – one from the familiar though evolving world of radio, the other a sophisticated Harvard dance professor – Bob is forced to reconcile the comfort of stagnation with the inevitability of change.
Louie Cronin, author of the novel Everyone Loves You Back, is a writer, radio producer and audio engineer. For ten years she served as NPR’s “Car Talk” traffic cop, producing the show and ensuring that every call was entertaining. A graduate of Boston University’s Masters program in Creative Writing and a past winner of the Ivan Gold Fiction Fellowship from the Writers’ Room of Boston, Louie has had her fiction and essays published in Compass Rose, The Princeton Arts Review, Long Island Newsday, The Boston Globe Magazine, and on PRI.org. Her short stories have been finalists for both Glimmer Train and New Millennium Writings awards. Louie has been awarded residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. Currently she works as a technical director for PRI’s The World and lives in Boston with her husband, the sculptor James Wright.
This book is my first introduction to this author. The saying is "First impressions matter". Well Mrs. Cronin really made a great impression on me. I recently watched the movie, Gran Torino featuring Clint Eastwood. In the movie he plays a grumpy, old man, who hates his neighbors due to their race. Yet in the end he becomes fast friends with his neighbors. I am not saying that Bob was that way but this is the image I got of him. His dueling with his neighbors may not have been as bad and in the end I am glad that he grew a back bone.
What I won't give to actually live in Bob's neighborhood. What with all of the quirky characters on both ends...the tree huggers and the developers. I actually felt bad for Bob. I think he did get shafted in the end with his relationship with Leonie. Yet. he was lucky that he was able to get out when he did. Bob was too nice of a guy. Leonie was the one wearing the pants in their brief relationship. Back to Bob's neighbors. I was rooting on the side of the tree huggers. I look forward to reading more work by this author as Everyone Loves You Back.