A novel to read in memory of a heart-throb: I Think I Love You & David Cassidy

For those of us born in the early 1960’s, David Cassidy, was often a first big crush. Happily, I had an older brother so I can claim John, Paul George and Ringo for that role. But, David still had a huge part to play in my elementary school romantic dreams. His death today was very sad news.

So, to help us all remember him fondly, I’m revisiting a book I read, reviewed and loved back in 2011–Allison Pearson’s I Think I Love You–the title being from possibly the most iconic Partridge Family song (and which provided a great Hugh Grant romantic moment in Four Weddings and a Funeral).

July 26, 2001

I absolutely LOVED Allison Pearson’s first book, I Don’t Know How She Does it, so I figured I’d pretty much love anything she writes. Plus, having been a huge fan of the TV show, The Partridge Family way back in the early ’70s, I was sure I had a hit on my hands. I was carried back to childhood reading about Petra and Sharon and their David Cassidy obsession. I could just feel myself back in Uncle Bob and Aunt Jeanie’s basement rec room, sitting on my Grandmother’s old couch, across from the dog couch, watching David Cassidy on the black and white portable, “coke-tails” in hand (the cherries eaten before the opening credits passed). I can remember (although I’m POSITIVE he’s blocked the memory–it IS cringe-inducing) my brother, much too mature for the show as he was in JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, debating with his best friend Ronny if Danny Bonaduce was or was not one of the best bass players in the country FOR HIS AGE. (They always emphasized that last part.) Pearson’s story is of lost love, ships passing in the night and a stolen opportunity set right. To say more would spoil it for the true believers–the grown up “David girls” who WILL want to read this book.

However, like a lot of follow-up-to-a-blockbuster, this book needs better editing. The story gets away from Pearson in places. Not that this ruins it–it just makes it a chore in spots. I find myself hoping we’ll get Sharon’s story next. Sharon who enjoys her birthday spent eating rissoles and chips and “I get to pick the Blockbuster.” Sharon who eschews art school saying “I can always paint at home, can’t I?” and then shames us all by doing so and doing it well. Sharon who is perfectly content in an ordinary marriage in an ordinary town in South Wales. We can all learn so much, much more from her story. I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson.

So, there you have it folks. A book that should now sell a million new copies as middle-aged women weep over it, remembering getting into their jammies to enjoy home-popped pop corn, store-brand cola with a cherry in it and watching David as Keith. (Or that cool date Danny had with Jody Foster.) Ever notice how Tracy always played a tamborine or a triangle and neither are ever heard in a song……


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