Meet Ethan, a recently divorced architect struggles to move on to the next chapter of his life. However, instead of adjusting to a new sense of normalcy, he stumbles into Ally, an eccentric high school art teacher who twists his world in unexpected directions. From their first encounter, Ally’s strange effect evokes Ethan’s interest as she challenges his sense of curiosity and adventure in the most uncharacteristically romantic ways. Ethan questions whether to follow this new and unusual woman’s eager spirit or to remain alone in his familiar routine.
Ethan has no idea what to make of Ally, but she convinces him to tag along during Christmas which sparks an interest between them. As the relationship grows, questions arise about their future, and the trust between them wavers. Ethan struggles with what his mind is telling him and what his heart feels, and what he knows he must do when Ally is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. Ethan must discover how to grasp the realities of their situation while deciding how to defy them at all costs.
Set within the backdrop of winter time New York City, Wonderstruck illustrates some of the many internal obstacles often contemplated when faced with two of life’s unexpected adversities: love and heartbreak. You’ll discover how the best things happen in life when you need them most, and the worst things will happen when you want them the least. It encompasses a different journey than a typical romantic story, with this one being told from a contrasting male perspective as well as entailing realistic conflicts that take place every day between flawed characters.
Ethan and Ally claimed a bench right off the rink to put their skates on. With a little help from Ethan, Ally got her skates on correctly and they walked over to the rink. Ethan went out first. He skated around for a bit before noticing that Ally hadn’t come out yet. She stood on the edge of the ice watching him, looking afraid to go out and join him. She gave him a small wave when he looked back. He skated over to her.
“Come on. It’s okay,” Ethan told her.
Ally hesitated. Ethan slowly held out his hand to her.
“Just try it. You never know if you don’t try.”
Ally grabbed his hand and stepped out onto the ice. She almost fell immediately. She caught herself before Ethan grabbed hold of her arm.
“Slowly?” he suggested.
Ally nodded. She “skated” past him and began trying to skate on her own. After several minutes and falling down multiple times, she started getting the hang of it, to the point where she didn’t need Ethan for balance. She still moved along slowly, but it was a speed she felt comfortable with. They skated around for several laps. At one point, Ethan noticed that Ally had made her way over to the wall surrounding the rink, and was holding the wall for balance, skating along. He smiled at the sight of her.
Ethan skated around with Ally a few more times. She stayed much closer to him than before. She had nearly made it several laps around the rink before she fell in the center of the rink. Ethan skated over and helped her back up. After she stood up, she didn’t let go of him. Instead, she moved closer to him.
“Thank you, Ethan. For a wonderful Christmas.”
Ally leaned in and kissed him, in the glowing light from the illuminated Christmas tree above them. Ethan was both surprised by the kiss, yet he had been expecting it all night. He was aware of what she was trying to do, he just couldn’t figure out why. He was also unable to figure out how he felt about it. Without thinking, he began to kiss her back.
The kiss made him feel differently than he anticipated. He felt invigorated from Ally’s taste and touch like he hadn’t in years. But he also felt a ping of guilt for enjoying it so soon after his life began to fall apart.
Ally pulled away from Ethan before he could. The light glistened in her already luminous eyes. She smiled at Ethan, her hair getting caught in front of her eyes. She laughed as she moved it out of the way.
“I had a really good time,” she told Ethan after trying to read his eyes.
Ally skated away, leaving Ethan standing in the center of the ice rink, sending a curious look after her. He watched her leave, unsure if he should follow or let her be, and a small smile crept its way onto his face.
As a filmmaker and a journalist from Wisconsin, Ben has always had an interest in storytelling. It doesn’t matter what the story is, whether it be a certain genre or medium, Ben will tell it the best way he can. From romance to sci-fi to comedies to historical adventures, Ben isn’t limited by a story’s “category.”
His first two novels differed from each other drastically.Wonderstruck, a romantic drama, took two characters through an intimate relationship during a New York City winter; the first novel of his Andrew Decker series, The Skulls of Mystery, is a globe-trotting thriller revolving around the infamous crystal skulls and their supposed abilities. His upcoming third novel, a drama titled Rebirth, takes another turn, revolving around an elderly British man going to extreme lengths to relive his life
When not writing, Ben is an avid photographer and tennis player. He collects film cameras and typewriters (when he has the space), often repairing them himself.