Cameron leaves her best friend Sonia without a goodbye, they are reunited as the final request of Cameron's employer a noted ninety-two year old historian Cameron deserts her best friend Sonia without a word. The women looked out for each other as teens. Polar opposites Cameron has issues with showing her true feelings. A military brat she's lived in several places. Sonia has resided in one place. Her mother, a teacher, plays down her dyscalculia a math learning disorder. Unacceptable to Sonia's parents it was never discussed they simply treated her like she was less than encouraging her to believe she was stupid. Sonia lives in constant fear of further disappointing her parents.
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Sonia shares a secret with Cameron, she believes she is stupid. That's how her overbearing mother treats her. Cameron excels in math and the teens practice each others signature until it looks the same. This act allows Sonia to turn in math assignments and exams for Cameron who need the help to raise her grade point average and avoid the looks of disgust her mother always has for her. She can't get away, her mother teaches at her school.
Even though Sonia is popular it is all part of a charade. Her blue eyes are really brown behind the contacts. Friends cover for her when she mixes up letters, in efforts to keep her well from being talked about. She lives for getting everything right. It never pans out. Her mother is abusive physically and emotionally and her father feigns becomes both blind and deaf in efforts to avoid having to intervene. When Sonia's mother returns home early and catches Sonia and her boyfriend will on the couch petting she beats her with the chain from the backyard swing-set. Cameron is a a tall girl, at six-foot two inches she towers over Sonia's mother, grabbing the chain and slapping her across the face. Horrified more for her mother, than grateful to her rescuer Sonia pacifies her mother. They're dysfunctional relationship on full display.
Cameron is not all that popular and military life with her father has taught her to avoid getting attached to anything or anyone. Why bother? The family would move again as soon as she did. Her father detests weakness and tears. Cameron learns to move through life not showing any feelings at all.
Cameron pulls out of town with Sonia practically running behind her packed station wagon. When Sonia sends a letter to Cameron (she tracks down her address) she doesn't respond.
She has been working for three years for noted historian Oliver Doucet, a ninety-two year old loner. They have been each others companion. At thirty Cameron doesn't go out or socialize. Oliver is her companion they eat on schedule everyday and watch old black and white movies at night. Oliver demands that she go out and meet people. Cameron politely refuses preferring to spend time in the attic of the old rambling house going through pictures, letters, and historical documents Oliver has collected over the last eighty odd years.
Oliver reads the letter Sonia sent and unbeknownst to Cameron begins corresponding with her. When he dies she finds a letter that Oliver has written to her. It has a final request. He wants her to deliver a wedding gift in person to Sonia.
She is livid. How dare he. Should she go and meet the person she ran out on eight years earlier? The person whose letter she had chosen to ignore? Oliver had closed his letter by saying that he was still watching her even though he was dead and would know if she followed through with what he wanted her to do.
Compelled to do what is asked of her Cameron packs her car full of her remarkably small load of life possessions and heads towards Sonia. When she gets to the address no one answers the door. She fishes for the key in the backyard and finds it inside the mouth of a ceramic frog. She'd remembered that Sonia's family had done the same thing with the spare key when the girls were best buddies.
Inside a note meant for Cameron is on the counter. Sonia had to leave and won't be able to see Cameron, but she is welcome to spend the night. Cameron is outdone, as if she hadn't played Sonia off by leaving without a goodbye, and then by not responding to her letter.
Cameron locates Sonia's office with the help of a photography store owner Sonia frequents. Sonia's coworker mistakes Cameron for a woman who is due to be interviewed. They talk, and Cameron learns that Sonia has called off work saying she doesn't know when she will return. Cameron comes comes clean telling the woman that she is an old friend and has something for Sonia that must be hand delivered. In downtown Boston she spots Will, Sonia's high school boyfriend the one that her mother had beaten her over for petting disrobed on the living room couch.
Cameron had always had a thing for Will and they reconnect. This time it isn't a small betrayal of a kiss it is full on sex. Will asks Cameron to stay with him if she is going to continue her search for Sonia. Her car is full of her belongings and she really doesn't have anywhere else to be. Determined to find Sonia she can either return to her former friends apartment or stay with Will for a bit.
Cameron continues her search and finds Suzette, another friend from college. She confirms that she is out of sorts with Sonia. She is pregnant and needs her sorority sister. Their visit leads Cameron to Owen, Sonia's fiance. He thinks Sonia is on an assignment for work. Cameron knows this isn't true.
After she and Will sleep together for the tenth time, he breaks down and tells Cameron that Sonia is back in her childhood home tending to her mother who has had an emotional background. He is weary from breaking Sonia's confidence.
Cameron goes to her estranged friends childhood home and Sonia receives her in a matter-of-fact manner. They talk catching up and leaving a lot of gaps. Sonia is there because she only has one parent left and she loves unconditionally. Cameron doesn't try to understand that type of love. She gives Sonia the package to open.
It's a letter for Cameron. Oliver isn't really Oliver, he'd taken on the identity of an army friend. When the friend dies his aunt meets the fake Oliver and explains that she can help him make it as a world renown historian. She grants him a family identity that will make him an heir to her money and life. Cameron has permission to write his memoir with a different twist. One that she never imagined, she'd lived in solitude with this man for three years and he wasn't who he claimed to be.
She understands fully, he is begging her not to stay lonely and to live her life. She obliges and starts a relationship with Will, the boy-man she always fancied who used to be her best friend's guy. She attends Sonia's wedding and learns the importance of a true friend.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked the relationship between Cameron and Oliver.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Cameron and Will had sex. That girl needed to live a bit.
Opinion about the main character:
I dislike that Cameron was so hard on herself.