I have a bone to pick with Al Riske, author of Sabrina’s Window. I’m all for cliffhangers, but dude. Seriously. You didn’t just leave me hanging, you left me clinging by my shattered fingernails to the edge of an abyss.
The premise of Sabrina’s Window is a good one: seventeen-year-old Joshua breaks thirty-one-year-old Sabrina’s window with an errant newspaper toss, and a friendship is forged. He pays her back by helping her with yard chores, and she tries to help him with girls. Joshua is dating Ronni, Sabrina dates Barry. Both relationships are unsteady at the moment; Joshua and Ronni seem to want different things, while Sabrina might be hung up on an ex.
In the book’s summary, we’re told that Joshua and Sabrina go out on a date, but really, all they do is go to dinner. Their fellow townspeople, however, think it IS a date, and that starts tongues wagging. But this thread is dropped quickly, if not unsatisfactorily, in lieu of pursuing bigger issues that confront Joshua and Sabrina. Can he figure out his way around girls, and can she allow herself to settle down and be happy?
All the while, their friendship progresses.
The really remarkable part, he supposed, was that he didn’t feel shy or awkward around Sabrina – at least not as shy or as awkward as he normally did around, let’s face it, any attractive female. He trusted her. Right away. He could tell she had a good heart and wouldn’t hurt him. He could expose himself without feeling vulnerable.
Sabrina’s Window is a love story of sorts, but not in the way you’re thinking. Yes, there is love, and yes, there are passionate feelings, but Al Riske takes us in different directions than we perhaps expect. There isn’t really a climactic scene or event; the story just unfolds, in a sleepy, unhurried way, reflecting, in a way, its setting of Taos, New Mexico.
But it’s frustrating. It isn’t that I demand closure; I enjoy books that leave you guessing as to what happens next. Sabrina’s Window, though, REALLY leaves you hanging. Not only will you have no idea what will happen to Sabrina and Joshua, you won’t have any idea where to begin. Oh, sure, Riske gives us some hints, but given the direction of the story, you can’t be certain you really know anything. It’s frustrating. Really frustrating.
I don’t like happy endings slapped onto books, but in this case, no ending is almost as bad.
Or maybe it’s that I just really enjoyed the way Al Riske writes, so when he ended his story so abruptly, he left me wishing for more. I look forward to reading more of his work.