VSL// Is this generation’s Jane Austen a man?

These days, the term “chick lit” is tossed about freely (and mostly disparagingly) to describe almost any story written by a woman involving comic adventures in love. But this sweeping generalization discounts just how hard it is for an author (regardless of gender) to write a funny, smart, wry, and truly romantic story — which is why it’s such a pleasure to read Beginner’s Greek, by James Collins.

Collins’s characters meet cute on an airplane, only to have the piece of paper containing the number of the young lady (beautiful, kind, and reading Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain) get lost in the shuffle. A decade and tons of unfortunate entanglements and coincidences later, the characters must muddle their way back to each other for ultimate romantic happiness. And as with the most satisfying of love stories and romantic comedies, you never really worry about whether there will be a happy ending.

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