Who hasn't wished at one time or another that she could be someone else? (As I got ready this morning, I asked the reflection in the mirror to turn into that of a supermodel!)
In Why Can't I Be You, Larkin's follow-up to her dazzling debut, Stay (which we included as one of the best books of 2010), it's a case of mistaken identity that changes everything for Jenny Shaw. At first, even though the name called out is "Jessie!" Jenny really thinks she hears her own name. But once she turns her head, her entire life changes.
Jenny Shaw is walking across a hotel lobby, deflated from a breakup that's only hours old. For some reason, she's overcome by the need to become Jessie Morgan, a woman to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance.
She tells herself it will only be for an elevator ride with this stranger who think she is her long lost high school classmate. Then she convinces herself to let it go for the evening and then she will correct the case of mistaken identity by the next morning. But before she knows it, Jenny has fallen in love with Jessie's warm circle of friends, letting them fill the void she's been feeling in her own lonely life.
Many times she continues to have the opportunity to set the record straight that she's not the real Jessie Morgan, but actually Jenny Shaw, but she keeps falling deeper into Jessie's life and finding it harder and harder to pull herself out. It's when she begins to delve into Jessie's past that she discovers a secret that propels her to take another leap into the unknown.
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