It’s the perfect idea for a romantic week together: traveling across America by train.But then Hugo’s girlfriend dumps him. Her parting gift: the tickets for their long-planned last-hurrah-before-uni trip. Only, it’s been booked under her name. Nontransferable, no exceptions.
Mae is still reeling from being rejected from USC’s film school. When she stumbles across Hugo’s ad for a replacement Margaret Campbell (her full name!), she’s certain it’s exactly the adventure she needs to shake off her disappointment and jump-start her next film.
A cross-country train trip with a complete stranger might not seem like the best idea. But to Mae and Hugo, both eager to escape their regular lives, it makes perfect sense. What starts as a convenient arrangement soon turns into something more. But when life outside the train catches up to them, can they find a way to keep their feelings for each other from getting derailed?
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Jennifer E. Smith is one of my go-to contemporary authors. While I’ve only fallen head-over-heels in love with one of her books, The Geography of You and Me, her other books provide such-feel good vibes and really deliver on their premises. This of course includes her latest release, Field Notes on Love. Hugo and his girlfriend have planned a train trip across the United States, but when she breaks up with him, Hugo has to find someone of the same name to take the non-transferrable train ticket. Enter Mae Campbell, an aspiring filmmaker who is looking for some sort of adventure before starting her freshmen year of college.
Field Notes on Love is for sure a book that you can read over the course of one day. I didn’t do this myself over the course of the two busy days (including some Netflix watching), but I sort’ve wish I had saved this one for binge-reading on a beach or pool day this summer. At its 271 pages, readers can easily join in on Hugo and Mae’s weeklong journey in one day. The premise of the book completely delivered, as the majority of the book takes place on the train. The train was such an atmospheric setting, making me want to take a cross-country train trip myself! While much of the book focuses on Hugo and Mae, I liked Mae’s interviews with the other passengers and getting a glimpse at their own lives. Although I wish we spent more time in the cities and places the duo visit, what makes this book work so well as a shorter book is that there is really no fluff.