Cramer, Sofie. Text for You. Penguin, 2022. ISBN 978-0143136903 256 pp. $17
Told in alternating points of view, this tale of a string of texts over time to a deceased fiancé that continually land with the next person to get assigned the phone number is part romance, part mystery. Clara finds some comfort in sending messages to her dearly departed–it’s unclear if his death was an accident or deliberate–and their relationship was not always ideal; he liked to party and was not as ambitious.
Sven, stuck in a dead end job, and lonely, doesn’t respond to the texts he receives but speculates on who they are for and what the circumstances are. He frequently enlists the help of a coworker to decipher the messages and then pieces together the clues to figure out who they are coming from. Eventually, he decided to track down Clara to meet her.
Set in Germany, and more than ten years dated, some cultural details were foreign to this American reader. I loved how Clara’s processing through her grief and coming into her own as an artist, parallels Sven’s growing self confidence. This novel was more cerebral, less action and a bit slow-paced for my taste. Josie Silver’s The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a readalike that I found more satisfying.
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #TextForYou from #NetGalley.