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In every love life, there's always "the one that got away."

He got away because you were both too young, too scared, too broke or too different. Things were said that couldn't be unsaid, done that shouldn't have been done. It just didn't work out then, but now…? In the new novel, "I Almost Forgot about You" by Terry McMillan, he'll never get away twice.

It should have been an ordinary run-of-the-mill Monday.

That's the way it started for optometrist Georgia Young: new prescriptions, return clients, follow-ups, and one new Monday-morning patient who - big surprise! - turned out to be the daughter of a man Georgia dated in college and had fallen for. She never told the guy she loved him, though, and she never would … because he was dead.

Shaken to the core, Georgia began to think about all the men she'd slept with, and the ones she'd fallen in love with. How would life have changed if she'd stayed with any one of them? She'd been divorced twice; would that number have been higher or lower? Would she have more than her two daughters, live somewhere other than San Francisco, travel, cook for two?

At nearly 55 years old, she figured she'd never find love again, but she at least needed closure. With the urging of her best friend, Wanda, Georgia made a list of the men she'd once loved, and she promised herself she'd find them - not because she wanted to rekindle anything, but because she had so many questions for them and for herself.

Finding her ex-husbands was easy. Michael happened to be moving back to California and Niles was out of jail for his white-collar crime; both were happy and had moved on with their lives. Georgia was even able to stop hating them.

But Abraham wouldn't be easy to find. Neither would Lance. There were two Jameses, two Harolds, Thomas, Horace, and others, and one white guy that Wanda remembered, and added to the list. Georgia knew she'd never find them all, especially since she had a business, a busy family and a life to live.

Still, they were all men she'd remember forever. But would they remember her?

Show of hands - who hasn't spent girlfriend-time talking about boyfriends? Probably nobody, so "I Almost Forgot about You" is a comfortably familiar story.

That's not to say that it's same-old, though. Like she did in many of her other novels, author Terry McMillan gives readers a cast of strong-minded, smart women who lean on other strong-minded, smart women. In this book, however, we see a few more bruises from living, rather than from relationships: Georgia and her friends are looking toward retirement, a little less stress and no more drama. Even so, they get drama anyhow, and you'll be glad for it.

This is a novel for anyone who's lost a love and wondered, "What if…?" It's a book you'll want to share with your best friends. "I Almost Forgot about You" is a book you shouldn't let get away.

Short Takes

So you're going on vacation this summer.

Time away from work is always a good thing, but you know what would make it so much better? A novel to tuck in your carryon. So why not try one of these?

The Fireman

If summertime never has enough heat for you, then you obviously need more, so look for "The Fireman" by Joe Hill. It's a post-Apocalyptic novel of sickness, world-wide fear, a mythical fire-handling man, a gentle nurse and a handful of people who know how to harness that which is killing millions of people. Hint: Hill is Stephen King's son, so you know you're in for chills and a book that's great for the beach.

Britt-Marie Was Here

And if sweetness and quirkiness are more what you'd like for your vacation, then "Britt-Marie Was Here" by Fredrik Backman is what you need. It's the story of a middle-aged misfit who leaves her husband and finds a job in a town full of people who are even more misfit than she. It's only supposed to be temporary, but she needs the money … and yet, she also needs the people she meets. This book will make you laugh on page six, spit out your coffee on page eleven and get all teary-eyed a half-chapter later - and it's perfect for your staycation.

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