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11. Sleeping Beauty Awakens from Autopilot…

Marian is a Sleeping Beauty, as in the stories she tells the little school children during story hour. She has not yet awakened. Rick Moyer is driven by his rocky past (betrayal by a callous, socially climbing first wife) and his conflicts with his father, leading to a battle for his independence. This makes him a much sharper, more real character than the narcissistic, one-dimensional 'bad boy' type found in so many novels today. Rick has a genuine, understandable personal struggle going on, without losing any of his powerful appeal to the beautiful, tragic librarian who is on autopilot.

I will mention one more key element about this story. There is a rather sent-up subplot (its meaning easily missable by the distracted reader) about a borrowed library book that leads to a major plot pivot.

Over the seasons of his courting her—from Summer through Autumn and Winter, leading to their fulfillment at the first blush of Spring—Rick seeks every excuse in the world to visit the library during his trips between New York City and Hartford.

These desperately persistent and inventive forays include asking the mysterious woman (Marian) for a good book to read. She works in a library, yes? Somehow, he ends up choosing a rather silly cowboy book that is, however, loaded with subconscious cargo relevant to their growing, mutual interest—and they both know it, without ever vocalizing it.

A good many weeks later, Marian finally makes the move that shows her waking up. Rick is in a business meeting in New York City one day, in a cold, fog-shrouded skyscraper, when his phone rings. It is Marian the Librarian from Emery, Connecticut, who found his phone number and is calling about an overdue library book. It is clear, of course, that she is reaching out to him.