The Statistical Probability of Love of First Sight makes you yearn wistfully for the warm fluttery feeling of first love and the magic of happy endings
So, a book titled The Statistical Probability of Love of First Sight is not going to be the first pick of any self-respecting bibliophile, I’ll give you that. But before you dismiss it out of hand, all I ask of you is a fair trial, which you have to concede, is every book’s fundamental right.
In my opening statement, let me place on record — the plot is guilty as charged. It is the very definition of ‘been there, done that.’ Hadley Sullivan is a claustrophobic 17-year-old, who having missed her flight (by four minutes), is stuck in JFK en route to her father’s wedding to a woman she’s never met. Just when everything seems hopeless, cue in cute, wry, funny, chivalrous Oliver. Also, her seat mate on the flight.
Somewhere over the Atlantic that night, in the warm glow of cabin lighting, love happens. But in the harsh glare of the morning sun streaming through Heathrow, they part, unsure of themselves and their feelings. With no phone numbers or last names exchanged.
Will Hadley survive her father’s wedding? What’s Oliver trying to hide? Will they see each other again? Was it really love? You have to read the book to find out.
But no, the killing suspense is not the reason this book deserves a chance. Neither is it, the originality of the story. It is rather the endearing sense of familiarity — the thrill of meeting someone interesting on a flight, the strange isolated intimacy of night, shy unfurling of facts in conversation, and the first rush of feelings and a chance to relive the experience that makes it worth the read.
It’s in the telling of a story — even if only a familiar one —that makes all the difference. And there’s where Jennifer E Smith scores. She brings out all the innocence of adolescence, capturing perfectly the fearless fashion in which you offer your heart to a stranger without an iota of self-preservation. A parallel thread, of a child stuck in a broken home between lovable parents, adds the much-needed gravitas to the story and an interesting dimension to Hadley.
This is my closing statement. To remember a time before relationships got so complicated and we became so cynical, read this book. To remember what a happy ending looks like without feeling silly about it, read this book. It may not be the most sparkling book you’ve ever read, but it will be a book that might just make you start teach to hope again.
And, it is most definitely the book to pick to read on a flight. Because, did you know? As Oliver says, “People who meet in airports are seventy-two per cent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else.”
Name: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E Smith