Review: Aefle and Gisela by Libby Malin

Reviewed by Carla F.

The heroine is DeeDee McGowan who is the owner of a car dealership in the very small town of Oyster Point. She is all ready to settle for and marry Buck Bewley, but the night before the wedding she finds out he is cheating on her.

The hero is Thomas Charlemagne, a Medieval Studies professor at a university in Baltimore whose special area of study is Aefle the Minuscule (a poet monk of the twelfth century). He is back in Oyster Point to attend the wedding of his cousin. At the bachelor party the guys dare Thomas to stand up at his cousin’s wedding and object to the marriage. He agrees in order to finally stop everyone from calling him his nickname since childhood, “Timid Tommy”. The next morning hung over and unable to find his glasses, he does stop the wedding. It is just that it is not his cousin’s but the one of his former lover DeeDee.

This is a satire of both higher education and small time life. There many laugh-out-loud moments most of which came from Thomas.  One happens when he and DeeDee are running from the wedding and a beating of Thomas by Buck. DeeDee tells him to get into her SUV.

“Oh, sorry, I don’t ride in SUVs,” he said. He’d signed a pledge at the university against the gas guzzlers. He was still working on what to do about the one he occasionally drove, his father’s big Jeep Cherokee. Megan had insisted he take over its care. At least he’d put a “Greed Kills” bumper sticker on it.”

The titles of Thomas’s papers were all funny (and realistic). I especially liked:

“My Heart Is a Turnip in God’s Cellar: Platonic Romance in Aefle’s Monastery”

At first Thomas and DeeDee were a little bit over the top for me. Thomas is definitely a nerd. His social unawareness made me squirm at times, and I would have to put the book down for awhile. DeeDee took whatever Thomas said as a slight at her intellect/small town life. However, as the book went on and the characters grew and changed they both (especially Thomas) became very appealing. They were definitely characters who were better together than the sum of their parts.

Overall: A hilarious look at higher education, small town life, and of course, love.


Buy: Aefle and Gisela

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