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A Hollywood romance set in Columbus, OH

Cover of Waiting for Tom Hanks
A review of Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Memorial Day has come and gone and it's unofficially summer in Wisconsin. I read Waiting for Tom Hanks over the long week-end and it was the perfect book to kick off my quarantine summer reading. It's available as an eBook and audiobook from OverDrive and the wait list is short.   

Annie is a wannabe screenwriter living in Columbus, Ohio. She's obsessed with Nora Ephron and Tom Hanks-style movies like Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail and is secretly working on her own equivalent. The only writing she gets paid for, however, is silly internet content she writes to pay the bills. It turns out that a romantic comedy is filming down the street and Annie's uncle knows the director. Annie gets a job as the director's assistant and bumps into the handsome lead actor, literally, by spilling a latte on his expensive, tailored pea coat. Of course, the two have immediate chemistry. And so Annie's own rom-com begins.

I love Columbus. The German Village neighborhood where so much of this novel takes place in the winter with a snowstorm was just right. I don't like being hot, so the idea of snow and temps cold enough to wear sweaters and coats appealed to me. This book also prompted me to re-watch While You Were Sleeping, the 1995 romantic comedy set in Chicago starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. Everything seems sort of lost and far away right now, even last week, but I can't remember the last time I was in Chicago. Watching this movie was like visiting an old friend and I was grateful for the reminder. 

Winfrey's upcoming sequel, Not Like the Movies, features Annie's screenplay based on the will-they-or-won't-they relationship of her feisty best friend Chloe and her gruff coffee shop boss, Nick. The expected release date is July 7th from Penguin Random House. I can't wait!

May 28, 2020