Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

In the winning new novel from the beloved author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, the house cleaner of a famous reclusive author must carry out her employer's life-changing last wish...

Have you ever wished you were someone else?

Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can't believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.

But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie's final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie's shoes, and as Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women--one that will change Liv's own story forever...

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 31, 2022
 by Park Row
3/5 stars

This is my first Phaedra Patrick book.  The cover, title and blurb called my name, there is that bookish theme that radiates.

Getting off to a slow start this book stirred a wide range of emotions, how Liv was treated by her clients (she cleans homes and businesses) and worse yet by her husband and adult sons. It was difficult to read at times and I just wish she stood up for herself rather then be constantly taken advantage of.  

The premise was interesting and had potential. This mystery why Liv was named to complete the novel of a recently deceased author was a slow burn reveal and the many layers was a tad too drawn out.

I am a big book nerd, I love books about books and eagerly looked forward to this read.  I enjoyed the literary name dropping and how Liv loved audiobooks.  But ultimately I just felt sorry for Liv throughout this read, she craved something but lacked support.

The last third of the book picked up somewhat, I was a little curious about the connection between Essie and Liv. It was a neat and tidy ending but didn't wow me.

I've heard great things about the author's previous book The Library of Lost and Found (which is in my TBR pile) and will give that a go.

My thanks to Harper Collins CA for a print ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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