Maria Thompson Corley
Maria Thompson Corley
March 24, 2017
Louise Caiola, USA Today Bestselling Author of The Making of Nebraska Brown, called LETTING GO “a smart and sexy story that captures the raw essence of love. Heartfelt, haunting, tender, tough and true.”
Even though she lives hundreds of miles away, when Langston, who dreams of being a chef, meets Cecile, a Juilliard-trained pianist, he is sure that his history of being a sidekick, instead of a love interest, is finally over. Their connection is real and full of potential for a deeper bond, but the obstacles between them turn out to be greater than distance. Can these busy, complicated people be ready for each other at the same time? Does it even matter? Before they can answer these questions, each must do battle with the ultimate demon—fear.
Told in a witty combination of standard prose, letters, emails, and diary entries, LETTING GO, in the tradition of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s AMERICANAH, is a long-distance love story that also examines race, religion, and the difficult choices we make following our passions. From the Great White North to the streets of New York City to the beaches of Bermuda, LETTING GO is a journey of longing, betrayal, self-discovery and hope you will never forget.
Excerpt from Letting Go
Cecile followed him into the lobby, empty except for the night clerk, who didn’t look up. Langston sat on one of the russet leather couches, and Cecile sat in a matching chair at a right angle to him. He watched her gaze intently at the coffee table, or maybe the Edmonton Journal someone had left on top of it, her graceful hands folded on her lap. He let his eyes travel up her slender arms and rest on her face, wishing they hadn’t come out of the club, because wherever her mind had gone, he was clearly not invited.
Finally, Langston asked, “How long have you been in New York?”
She startled, then focused on him. “Four years.”
“Do you like it?
“Most of the time. The homeless people are kind of disturbing.”
“You get tired of the begging?”
“Well…yes, but mainly I just feel bad. I mean, I can’t give money to everybody, and some of them must really need it. I guess they all do, even if they’re addicts, because even addicts need to eat.”
Her response surprised him so much that he couldn’t think of anything to say. After an awkward pause, something came to him: “I guess helping even one person makes a difference.”
“Allegedly.” She smiled with her lips again.
“Why are you so sad?” Liquid courage.
Cecile turned her head, her eyes darting away. “Homelessness is depressing.”
“It’s more personal than that, isn’t it?”
She bit the inside of her lip. “Maybe.”
Langston cleared his throat. “Sorry,” he said. “New topic.”
He groped for something innocuous. “So you’re here to see the family?”
Cecile chuckled. “Sort of.”
“What’s so funny?”
She sighed, gazing into the distance for a while. Then her eyes found Langston’s face, and stayed there. “I’m here because I was supposed to get married next weekend.”
The couch squeaked as he fell back against it. “Wow.”
“It’s for the best,” she said softly.
“What happened? You don’t have to answer, of course.”
She looked at her hands, then rested her eyes on him again. Her face relaxed. “It’s okay.”
She told him, speaking hesitantly at first and then more freely, about what had happened. When Langston offered his heartfelt condolences, she brightened a bit. Then they talked about her being a musician, life in New York and Toronto, and their mutual study of French, and the more they talked, the more natural her smiles became. By the time Teresa and Betsy emerged from Darling’s, they were leaning towards each other, laughing like two old friends.