My Favorite Part? All of It.
The Lonely Hearts Bar is a slice-of-life story that engulfs the reader completely. It’s the kind of book you read and you feel like you’re watching it on a big screen. It delivers like a screenplay, with three main chapters that can also work as the three acts of a play. Which makes sense, the main characters are taking screenwriting/film classes. Everything about this novel is intentional, from the number of chapters, to each word on the page. Everything has a purpose with meaning behind it and its fascinating to unfold the layers.
The novels main character, Connie, travels from NY to CA. On her road trip she stops at an old, rundown bar. It looks like it’s straight out of an old western movie. Little does Connie realize that this bar will be the connection between her and many important people in her life. Readers follow her as she meets friends, falls in loves, and bonds with an eccentric professor.
I consider a story exceptional when I don’t want it to end. When I’ve finished the last page and do a quick google search to see if the author is making a second book. I’m so relieved to know that Konni Granma will continue writing about The Lonely Hearts Bar characters, she has two more books up her sleeve. In the mean time I think I’ll end up reading this book a couple more times, it has so many layers I’m bound to uncover more hidden meanings and connections.
Here is one of my favorite passages:
“To be honest, I have no idea what cinema is and why it’s so magnetic… Also, I don’t know what it’s like to be called a ‘great’ director. I only just jumped out of the plane and am waiting for my parachute to open. In the meantime, I’m just looking at an illusion of how my life should be. Maybe I’ll see the light as soon as I hear the clapperboard and ‘Action!’ But it’ll all be meaningless if people aren’t inspired… My name is Connie. I came from New York on a long journey in my old car. Maybe, on the other side of the world, a little girl is going to bed who, just like I used to, dreams of becoming a filmmaker. And every time, closing her eyes, she holds a camera in her hands and mentally goes over her movie’s screenplay… why am I a director? I think I’ll be able to answer that when I become one. Now I’m just one more student who is just dreaming of becoming a filmmaker and is still falling asleep, just like that little girl. The main thing is to not lose faith…”
This pretty much says it all:
“Jack took a step forward, and his hand reached out, seemingly of its own accord, to my neck. He froze, his eyes locked on my lips, and nearly touched them, but got an abrupt slap in the face. I stormed off the stage and grabbed my backpack. “And I thought I was studying to be a director,” I said savagely, marching to the exit.”
Best Friends Forever
The Lonely Hearts Bar is unique from all other novels I’ve read, which made it that much more interesting to read. I now have a newfound appreciation for those struggling to make an impact in cinema. I also feel like I have a new group of friends, even if they live in the literary world.
Even if you’re like me and aren’t passionate about film, this story is about so much more; falling in love, connecting with friends, dealing with drug use and disappointments, losing loved ones, and most importantly living a life with integrity and passion.