Black Olives

by Martha Tod Dudman

"And I don't know now, jouncing around in the back of his Jeep, don't know if I love him and miss him and am sad that he left, or if I'm out for vengeance. Maybe both."

Virginia sees her ex-boyfriend David at the grocery store one day, while browsing through the store's selection of olives.  They have been broken up for 9 months after dating for 10 years.  Virginia's story, though, only lasts one day.  She hops in the back of her ex's Jeep, spends the afternoon there and the evening in his house.

During her time in hiding, Virginia worries about being caught for breaking and entering, and about what she will say to David when he inevitably finds her.  She thinks about their relationship, the good parts and the bad parts.  She blames herself for him cheating on her and leaving her the New Year's Eve before. They had been together after each of their first marriages had fallen apart, and she didn't want to get married again. 

In his house while he is out, Virginia looks through David's things, looks for traces of herself, and for clues about his new lover(s).  She is able to come to terms with her tremendous sense of betrayal and loss, by dreaming up scenarios of conversations with David. 

I felt nervous for Virginia while she was in hiding. I mean, what would happen if she got caught?  I also felt sorry for her, and for her situation. The summary in the front cover of the novel says, "Any woman who has ever lived and loved will find herself swept up in Virginia's mesmerizing journey."  That was definitely the case for me. 

♥ Meg xoxo

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