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A Little Love Story

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Jake Entwhistle is smart and handsome, but living with a shadow over his romantic history. Janet Rossi is a bright, witty aide to the governor of Massachusetts, but Janet suffers from an illness that makes her, as she puts it, “not exactly a good long-term investment.” After meeting by accident late one night, they begin a love affair filled with humor, startling intimacy, ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Vintage (first published 2005)
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Alex by Frank DefordSixty-Five Roses by Heather Summerhayes CariouNot a Wasted Breath by LaRecea Tabor GibbsA Little Love Story by Roland MerulloThe Spirit Of Lo by Terry Detrich
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,259)
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Read It Forward
My very favorite love story. Unsentimental, without cliche, Roland Merullo's novel goes to the heart of what it means to love someone. A great choice for book groups - lots to discuss, including the male narrator, who presents his love with a raw honesty that's moving and absolutely unique.
Jan Risher
A stranger sent this book to me. I thought it was because he or she thought I would like the book. In that sense, she was right. I enjoyed the book much more than I expected. The story shouldn't work, but it does. When I got to the last page of the book, much to my surprise, the stranger who sent it has written a note, in a type of handwriting that can only be described as "grandmotherly." The appearance of the note jolted me. I had no idea it was there until I turned the page.

It said:
In the sp
...more
Lynn
On the face of it, and given the title, this would normally be the type of book I would shy away from. The last two books by Roland Merullo were so outstanding though, that when this was on the shelf at the library, I just had to take it home. I am so glad I did. Jake is a painter/carpenter with a tragic past. Janet is one of the governor's top aides with a seemingly tragic future. Sounds like time to reach for the Dramamine, right? And in other hands, that might be the case. In Merullo's grip, ...more
John


One of my favorites. Very touching story with great characters. I found it difficult to put down. The surface story about two lonely people who almost seem desperate develops to expose a painful history and joy filled albeit quirky relationship in the present. If you've ever wasted time dwelling on the past or over planning the future this book can help show you how to be grounded and appreciative of the present.
Laura
I loved this book. Although some of the reviews I read equated it to Erich Segal's "Love Story" from the 70s (which I read ages ago and even saw the movie), I think it has so much more to offer. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the first opening chapters, but found myself eventually glued to the story. I loved the quirky sense of humor of the main character, the several references to Greek Americans, the medical aspects of the book, as well as how the story took place in Boston (lots of refer ...more
Amy
Feb 25, 2013 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amy by: co-worker
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
This is the fourth or so book I have read by Merullo. I was not particularly find of Golfing With God. I really liked American Savior, and I would have to say that this book probably ties for first place as my favorite Merullo book, Breakfast With Buddha.

This book was not as heavy on spirituality as some of his other books and didn't hold a lot of answers, but it reminded me that no matter how hard the situation is, no matter how hard the battle, you cannot give up.

I literally had to go back an
...more
Ingrid
I have read a few of Merullo's books and have always enjoyed them very much. I think that Merullo is a wonderful writer and really brings his characters alive. This book did not disappoint. Jake meets Janet Rossi after a year of grieving for his girlfriend who died on 9/11. He and Janet fall in love, but Janet is very ill with cystic fibrosis. After a few months together it is clear that her lungs are giving out. This is the kind of story that could be very sappy or become a soap opera, but it n ...more
Grace
I read through 172 pages of a 270 odd pages of this book when a vague memory surfaced..
That I had indeed read this book a few years back, disliked it at precisely the same page !

There are parts of the book that read well and I had suffered the protagonists up to a point..
till I told myself, that I was under no compulsion to finish the book.

Kim
Loved, Loved, Loved this book will not be getting rid of it !!I just read it about 2 weeks ago and alreay I am ready to read it again .In fact I am going to try some of Merullo's other titles !!
Katie
I loved that it was a very realistically modern love story. There's nothing mushy gushy about it. It dealt with real life issues and the effects on people and relationships.
Maria
I enjoyed this but it was also torture. The story itself is heartbreaking and to top it off, the ending really left me hanging.
Pammy
I just found this one on the shelf--- no doubt pulled to the title. Who doesn't like a Little Love Story once in a while. I was unfamiliar with the author, so went into the book totally unbiased.
I am an RN, and within a few chapters I thought: WOW...how on earth can this story based on a woman with end stage cystic fibrosis possibly end well???
But in Roland Merullo's hands, all things are possible. His smartly crafted story manages to be funny, goofy, sexy, romantic, sad, informative, hopeful, a
...more
Rebecca Smith
Very few novels will capture you right off the bat as this novel will. Especially when you know (or think you know) the basic story and outcome of the book. I could barely put this novel down, and kept breathless until the very end.
It gives nothing of the story away to say that this is a love story, and one that appears by first glance, a tragic one. You know the old fairy tale about boy meeting girl, boy falling in love with girl, girl dying of terminal illness...oh wait, you haven't heard abou
...more
Carol
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Latarsha
It's like this: we all operate from the same collection of words to express ourselves and our thoughts but there is something about Roland Merullo's writing style that makes you wish you could use the words he works with to express yourself. I found myself thinking after each paragraph that the only way to talk about the two main characters, Jake and Janet, is the way he wrote it. It's like he eviscerated any other options.

"A Little Love Story" is not a big book, it's not full of action and the
...more
Annette
For the dialogue alone this book is worth a read. Then there's the writing which rings so true its takes a second run through to grasp the beauty of Merullo's craft. The characters are as vital as good neighbors, suffused with a generous humanity and the story line brings all the flavors of love into focus. This book is a pleasure to read slowly, to savour and enjoy like warm, melting chocolate - if you can stay in the Present!
Tom Davis
I had already read two of Merullo's books, the Buddha pair, when I saw that this one was about a woman with cystic fibrosis. Since I know a woman with cystic fibrosis, I thought I would read it as well. I liked it better than the Buddha books. The characters mostly seemed real, though some of the situations were contrived, but that was so he could tie a lot of pieces together in the final pages. Well done for a fun read.
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
I don’t normally read these types of books, but a friend gave me this book so I thought I’d give it a whirl. At first I was pleasantly surprised and thought maybe that I might like it. Then around page 75, the book slapped me in the face and said, “I’m a clichéd love story! Stop acting like I’m not!” I then began getting annoyed due to figuring out the easy plot or by reading clichéd lines. The main character—I‘ve already forgotten his name—is supposed to be in his late twenties but he acts more ...more
Susan Henderson
Characters- I actually liked (except the main girl, really)
story- was ok
Writing- above average
Ending- surprisingly liked it

Thing I disliked most- makes you short of breath and you start to wonder if YOU have CF. So, remember to take deep breaths.
Sarah B.
The book was witty, but at times a little sad. I'm a little disappointed in the ending. I wanted to know more, but that always seems to be the case with books I read...I'm always longing for more. I suppose that's a good thing?! It's a sad but hopeful story. Definitely worth reading.
Laura Irrgang
Jake and Janet meet, fall in love, and deal with Janet's cystic fibrosis while trying to lead a normal life. The characters are fleshed out nicely, and it's interesting to read a romance written from a man's point of view. However, the book just didn't stick with me very long after I read it. I finished it last week, and I'm already forgetting key points. I had to pick it back up to remember some of the plot line.

I found it readable and pleasant, but a tad bland. Then again, I'm not a big romanc
...more
Jessica
Beautiful and realistic descriptions of people and situations, poignant moments and realizations at just the right time, with an almost perfect pace. A realistic love story of two damaged strangers who meet haphazardly, and end up fighting for each other in the most dire and terminal of circumstances.

I felt Merullo was right on about his characters. How they reacted matched their make - it all made sense. And I like the themes of life and death, love and heartbreak, healing and rebuilding, famil
...more
Beek
My first Merullo book and I don't even know if it is reflective of his writing style but I really enjoyed this love story. What would you do for love? C'mon, tell me, don't leave me hanging....
Eva Nickelson
This is a story about the baggage that comes along when you try to love someone new. The title had two means for me: first, it isn't a very long story, and second, it wasn't trying to be a huge romance. Instead, it showed the steady progression of love, the unassuming ways it crept into their lives. Janet's sickness, which Jake assumes is a lingering cough, but which is really cystic fibrous, puts a time limit on their story and adds an urgency to each moment.

While some of the characters seemed
...more
Kathleen
This was a different type of love story. It went into the baggage we bring into a new relationship. Jake was the first person narrator; humorous, witty, decent and wise. His lover Janet has advanced Cystic Fibrosis. Her health is deteriorating rapidly. They are immediately attracted to one another. There affair is intense with erotic intimacy. Jake is in awe of Janet’s courage in facing her disease every day. The author has a beautiful lyrical quality in places to his writing. He also seems to h ...more
Gloria
Quote:

" Families are like countries. They have their own language and jokes and secrets and assumptions about the right and wrong way of doing things, and some of that always shows in the children... outsiders like it or they don't, they feel at home there or they don't" (96)

"but I think whatever people do, they do in search of pleasure. Or trying to get rid of pain or fear, which is the same thing, basically. Everything, everuthing is really about that. Everything is about bringing your mind t
...more
Cheryl
A LITTLE LOVE STORY is anything but "little". Roland Merullo has written love in all it's manifestations for a woman under circumstances that threaten their very lives. Jake, a successful carpenter in Boston has spent the past year in isolation and suffering after his girlfriend was killed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11.

Venturing out on a first date with Janet, an aide to the governor of Massachusetts, he finds the connection he's never had before with a woman. But she suffers from an illness w
...more
Mary
Love, love, love this story! From the opening paragraphs to the final page, Roland Merullo weaves a comic story of life, love and choices in attitudes. His characters are multi dimensional and for once I am sad there is not a second book so I can spend more time with them.

Yes, this is a love story, as the title claims, however it is not the nauseating kind of story where everyone is perfect and they all live happily ever after. They are odd and sick and wounded.

This is the second one of Roland
...more
Kathy
I like Roland Merullo a lot, but I found this book a bit of a cliche and rather maudlin, I'm sorry to say.
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ROLAND MERULLO is the acclaimed author of twelve previous books, including Revere Beach Boulevard, In Revere in Those Days, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and American Savior. Merullo has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
More about Roland Merullo...
Breakfast with Buddha The Talk-Funny Girl Lunch with Buddha Golfing with God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

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“I felt I was drawing close to that age, that place in life, where you realize one day what you'd told yourself was a Zen detachment turns out to be naked fear. You'd had one serious love relationship in your life and it had ended in tragedy, and the tragedy had broken something inside you. But instead of trying to repair the broken place, or at least really stop and look at it, you skated and joked. You had friends, you were a decent citizen. You hurt no one. And your life was somehow just about half of what it could be.” 46 likes
“Families are like countries. They have their own language and jokes and secrets and assumptions about the right and wrong ways of doing things, and some of that always shows in the children, the way something of
Germany or Australia always shows in a German or an Australian, no matter where they go. Outsiders like it or they don't, they feel at home there or they don't. It's like the taste of cilantro.

10 likes
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