The Geography of You and Me Excerpt10:23 AM
Published on: April 15, 2014
Published by Poppy
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.
Excerpt“Yeah, but if it’s the whole building, this could take a while,” he said, slumping against the wall. “And my dad’s not around this afternoon.”
“My parents are away, too,” Lucy told him, and she could just barely make out the expression on his face, an odd look in her direction.
“I meant ’cause he’s the super,” he said. “But he’s just in Brooklyn, so I’m sure he’ll be back soon.”
“Do you think…?” she began, then paused, not sure how to phrase the question. “Do you think we’re okay till then?”
“I think we’ll be fine,” he said, his voice reassuring; then, with a hint of amusement, he added: “Unless, of course, you’re afraid of the dark.”
“I’m okay,” she said, sliding down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, her elbows resting on her knees. She attempted a smile, which emerged a little wobbly. “I’ve heard monsters prefer closets to elevators.”
“Then I think we’re in the clear,” he said, sitting down, too, his back against the opposite corner. He pulled his phone from his pocket, and in the dim light, his hair glowed green as he bent his head over it. “No signal.”
“It’s usually pretty iffy in here anyway,” Lucy said, reaching for her own phone before realizing she’d left it upstairs. She’d only run down to grab the mail, a quick round trip to the lobby and back, and now it felt like a particularly bad moment to find herself completely empty-handed.
“So,” the boy said, tipping his head back against the wall. “Come here often?”
She laughed. “I’ve logged some time in this particular elevator, yes.”
“I think you’re about to log a lot more,” he said with a rueful smile. “I’m Owen, by the way. I feel like we should probably introduce ourselves so I don’t end up calling you Elevator Girl whenever I tell this story.”
“I could live with Elevator Girl,” she said. “But Lucy works, too. I’m in 24D.”
He hesitated a moment, then gave a little shrug. “I’m in the basement.”