Meet Savannah, a 30-something woman in Massachusetts with a thriving party planning business called Life Celebrations. Savannah’s parents died when she was a teenager, and now the aunt who raised her is also dying. Savannah has created a positive life for herself on the east coast, surrounded by friends and co-workers who have become her family. While she works hard, practices yoga, has an over-the-top passion for Broadway musicals, and carries on her mother’s legacy for celebrating life, Savannah is also lonely, and harbors a secret fear of settling down and having children because she doesn’t want to leave them behind the way her mother did when breast cancer took her life.
Meet Deirdre Rose, Savannah’s mother who died when her only daughter was 15. When Deirdre Rose was young, she studied entomology before becoming a theatre costume designer. Her biggest insect passion was Dragonfly. Deirdre Rose’s spirit is still present in Savannah’s life, and she continues to watch over Savannah who feels connected to her mother deeply whenever she sees a dragonfly.
Now meet Ben, a 30-something international recording artist who got his start on Broadway, then branched out to perform on his own. His name is a household word. Ben has a few close friends in Los Angeles who anchor him in to a life beyond the spotlights and paparazzi. He works hard, travels incessantly, practices yoga, and also has an over-the-top passion for Broadway musicals. To Ben, nothing is more important than writing his songs and having his music be heard. Ben is lonely too, because celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Most people want something from him and never take the time to really get to know him.
Savannah and Ben’s lives cross paths when they meet at a yoga retreat center in the Massachusetts Berkshires. Ben is drawn to Savannah’s easy smile and positive outlook on life. Savannah is drawn to Ben’s kindness and honesty as well as his music. She sees beyond his celebrity, and he sees her strength in how beautifully she has come through to the other side of a deep loss.
What happens when the retreat ends and they go their separate ways? Will they be able to make an east coast-west coast relationship work? Can Savannah put aside her fear of a long-term relationship in order to step into the love that Ben so freely offers?
And what important messages does Dragonfly have for both of them?
Plot: The plot of Bennett's novel unfolds at a measured pace that allows the character arcs and relationships to develop genuinely. The interludes from Deirdre and Savannah add a level of complexity and deeper emotion to the plot that will likely delight romance readers.
Prose/Style: Neither overwrought or overly simplistic, Bennett's prose is serviceable and easily readable.
Originality: Readers will find many standard contemporary romance trappings in this novel, making for an entertaining if not particularly exciting addition to the genre.
Character Development: Readers will be moved by the relationships throughout the novel, particularly that of Savannah and her mother Deirdre. Though the core romance between Savannah and Ben is interesting, and there are many reasons to root for them, at times Deirdre's interludes threaten to overshadow the central story.
Date Submitted: May 08, 2020