Nothing simple about love story in ‘Past Reflections’

On the Shelf

There are no simple love stories in novels. There must be some sadness, some tragedy, some unforeseen incident or incidents to enliven the interest of the reader.

Certainly, Sandra Bonaldi of Nutley understands what a reader really wants from a romantic novel. As a result, she has provided the ingredients necessary to enhance her characters and the story line in her second novel, “Past Reflections.”

As in her first novel, “Midnight Magic,” published last year, Bonaldi manages to turn ordinary people into subjects of intrigue and makes everyday events difficult to decipher.

For example, in “Past Reflections,” published by A Wings ePress Inc., Julie Finch, a 17-year-old city girl, recently graduated from a Catholic school for girls, finds responsibility in retaining her first job as a counselor atCampWiskle.

Unfortunately, in applying for the job, at the persistence of her best friend Tracey, who is also a counselor, Julie lies about her age, pretending to be older. Adding to this burden, Julie, who has been injured in an automobile accident caused by her drunken mother, is also making an attempt to recover from a serious breakup with Scott, the best friend of her older brother, Matt.

Befriended by counselors, including attractive brothers Kevin and Jake, and a trouble-making junior counselor, Nancy, Julie tries to enjoy a happy summer at camp.

But Julie constantly reflects on her past experiences with Scott. And soon, she is in conflict, finding herself attracted to Kevin, while contemplating the strength of her love for Scott, who is ultimately suffering from serious medical problems, of which Julie had not been aware.

There are enough emotional clashes and  and frightening occurrences throughout “Past Reflections” to keep readers turning the book’s pages. And for some light after-summer reading, and perhaps a touch of the passion and tragedy found in soap opera dramas, “Past Reflections” holds its own.

Therefore, Bonaldi’s book comes recommended. Unquestionably, it can squeeze in alongside the author’s first book on the shelf of this reviewer’s book case, while still making room for a future, third volume.