Synopsis: Once upon a time, four aspiring authors met at a writers’ conference. Ten years later they’re still friends, veterans of the dog-eat-dog New York publishing world.
Mallory St. James is a workaholic whose novels support her and her husband’s lavish lifestyle. Tanya Mason juggles two jobs, two kids, and a difficult mother. Faye Truett is the wife of a famous televangelist and the author of bestselling inspirational romances; no one would ever guess her explosive secret. Kendall Aims’s once-promising career is on the skids – as is her marriage. Her sales have fallen, her new editor can barely feign interest in her work – and her husband is cheating.
Under pressure to meet her next deadline, Kendall holes up in a mountain cabin to confront a blank page and a blanker future. But her friends won’t let her face this struggle by herself. They collaborate on a novel none of them could write alone – using their own lives as fodder, assuming no one will discover the truth behind their words.
No one is more surprised than they are when the book becomes a runaway bestseller. But with success comes scrutiny and scandal. Now all bets are off as these four best friends suddenly realize how little they truly know each other.
My Review: The concept of this book pulled me in from the start – a book about authors writing a book about authors! As a reader who is also interested in the industry, the insight from inside was both fascinating and valuable: I don’t think I’ll ever romanticize the idea of becoming an author again after reading this fictionalized account of what it takes to become published.
The four major characters in this novel feel like friends to the reader from early on. Mallory is that person that has everything so together you almost dislike her. Tanya feels like the polar opposite, the friend you know is struggling but is too proud to ever accept your help. Faye is the almost motherly friend you want to turn to when you need someone to cry with. And Kendall has such focused motivation, you want her around to help you find the good in yourself when you don’t believe in it. This makes it all the more difficult as things start imploding and the book they write together has consequences no one intended or ever imagined.
Yet like a group of friends, it was hard to not be critical of their actions at times, wishing you were there to help them see the alternatives and offer your own advice for their individual situations. I loved the relationship these four women had, I really felt like I was in the room with them as they wrote together, and was surprised to see I found their stories just as intriguing apart as when they were together. It’s a testament to the authors ability to write believable characters and a story that is easy to get behind.
While this isn’t a heavy handed book you’re going to think about for days, there is a lot of emotion written into the story and I challenge you to get through the book dry-eyed. I love when a book can show me something new in addition to being very enjoyable, and it was a great ride. This is a beautiful story that I highly recommend, it’s very much worth your time, and you may pick up some publishing insights along the way.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Crystal Jones, 2010
Read this book if: You like women’s fiction, a nice friendship story, or something having to do with the publishing industry. It’s a good story, I really liked it
Full Disclosure: I received this book for free from Curled Up With a Good Book. My original review is published here. This has in no way affected my review, and I was not compensated for this review in any way.