THE BOOK NOOK: Please look both ways before reading this novel


“Crossing the Street” by Molly D. Campbell (The Story Plant, 290 pages, $16.95)

Some time ago I had the honor to emcee for a literary event hosted by the Friends of Washington-Centerville Public Library at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace. There was a wine tasting under way — the room was populated by many of my favorite human beings: book lovers, librarians and a slew of writers who were there to autograph books for patrons.

As I wended my way through the festive scene, I stopped and chatted with readers and writers. After a while it all became a bit of blissful blur. I was pleasantly rousted from my bookish daze when I arrived at the table occupied by an author from Oakwood named Molly Campbell.

RELATED: Encounter with a book lover

She spoke: “Hey! You never reviewed my last book!” She said it so pleasantly. I suggested that when she published her next book she should get in touch with me. And she did.

Recently, Campbell published her latest novel, “Crossing the Street,” and it is a thoroughly entertaining story that revolves around some potently portrayed female characters who reside in the imaginary town of Framington, Ohio.

Campbell’s narrator, Beck Throckmorton, is in her 30s. She is single and works at a Starbucks. Her true occupation — her passion, so to speak — is penning erotic novels that she publishes as a lucrative sideline to her duties in the java trade.

RELATED: Daytonian pens novel about the pitfalls of celebrity

You could imagine that someone who spends her time crafting steamy prose might have an active love life as well. This is not the case for Beck — her writing is inspired primarily by fantasy these days. As the story opens she is accepting that her life is rather mundane. She isn’t in a relationship and has no desire to get married just for the sake of starting a family.

RELATED: Those amazing dogs from Xenia, Ohio

She once had a boyfriend. They broke up — then her boyfriend started dating Beck’s sister. Then her sister married that former boyfriend. Ouch, that hurt. Beck has just learned the couple are expecting a baby to arrive soon. This news has Beck putting out more steam than the espresso machines over at the coffee shop. She’s upset.

She’s not alone, though. Her friend Ella is a neighbor. She’s 83. Beck spends a lot of time with her. Then there’s Gail. Beck and Gail have been friends since they were in grade school. Gail had been engaged to a lovely man with a bright future. Then fate intervened.

The central drama in “Crossing the Street” unravels when Ella suddenly finds herself in a difficult position as a young girl, Ella’s great-granddaughter, arrives to stay with Ella because she doesn’t have anywhere else to go. This child — they call her Bob — is a wonderfully resilient kid who has been dislocated by cruel circumstances.

Campbell writes with a seasoned, tender wit. Moments that could feel heavy or serious are infused with comedic elements that keep elevating the story. She balances deep emotions with some very funny lines. This gifted humorist has won two Erma Bombeck Writing Awards. “Crossing the Street” is an ideal summer read.

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

The festival-like Hope over Heroin event will be coming to a Middletown church for the first time
The festival-like Hope over Heroin event will be coming to a Middletown church for the first time

A local church will be hosting Middletown’s second Hope Over Heroin event in early June. Hope Over Heroin organizers said that their outreach event will be held at June 8-9 at Berachah Church adjacent to Lefferson Park. This will be the first time Berachah Church has hosted the event. Middletown and Hamilton last hosted such events in 2014. &ldquo...
Crash on southbound I-75 in Monroe cleared; all lanes reopen
Crash on southbound I-75 in Monroe cleared; all lanes reopen

All lanes have reopened on southbound Interstate 75 in Monroe and the crash has been cleared. A video sent to this newsroom showed a red SUV with heavy damage to the front. Officials said injuries were reported, but the extent of injuries is unknown. A crash on southbound I-75 in Monroe has slowed traffic. The crash, involving a semi-tractor trailer...
3-car crash reported on northbound I-675
3-car crash reported on northbound I-675

Officials said a car merging onto northbound I-675 struck another car. One person was taken to a local hospital, but no serious injuries were reported. Crews are responding to a reported 3-vehicle crash on northbound I-675 in Washington Twp. The crash was reported around 6:50 p.m. at Mile Marker 3, just north of Ohio 725. Injuries have been reported...
This Fairfield High School senior saw a need at her school and filled it. Find out why, and how.
This Fairfield High School senior saw a need at her school and filled it. Find out why, and how.

The mission of LoveWorks is to inspire others to pay kindness forward and to celebrate those within the community who do just that. Fairfield High School senior Madi Dunn is an inspiration in paying kindness forward to her fellow students, said Angie Kenworthy, the organization’s committee chair. So she wanted to honor Dunn on Valentine&rsquo...
5 employers will be hiring at one event in Fairfield this week
5 employers will be hiring at one event in Fairfield this week

For job seekers looking to find multiple employment options in one place, OhioMeansJobs-Butler County will feature five hiring events in one day on Wednesday at its offices at 4631 Dixie Highway in Fairfield. Melissa O’Brien, the business services manager for the business and employment resource center, told this media outlet that having numerous...
More Stories