The Book Lover
May 7, 2012
Author: Maryann McFadden
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Three Women Press
(May 1, 2012)
This could be described as a nice emotional bonding story of two women finding their way in the world - in, out and around the disappointments they are dealt in life. But there's an extra bonus in this story for anyone involved in the book world. The story revolves around Ruth, who owns an independent bookstore and Lucy, who has had no success with the big Six, or any of the little publishers for that matter, and is now publishing and pushing her own novel.
Ruth's frustration at trying to keep an indie store above water and Lucy's attempts to be taken seriously by bookstores as she hawks her own book are the two story lines that grabbed my attention. There's a lot of information about the publishing industry in this book and the blurb below from Maryann explains a little of why this book is not published by the House that handled her last one.
I certainly don't feel that this book slams the book industry, it just goes into detail on how hard it can be to be noticed and gain growth in the publishing world, and the stigmas that revolve around self-publishing.
The story itself is a gripping one. Lucy is surviving her husband's gambling addiction and death of her prematurely born son. Ruth is trying to keep her bookstore while so many others are going under, while dealing with her infatuation with a prisoner she met while handling a bookmobile at the prison. She also has her son home from war, broken and attempting to heal.
These two woman come together to help and heal each other, but secrets they're each keeping may tear this friendship apart in the end.
A few words from MaryannWhen I was a self-published author, before my first novel, The Richest Season, was published by Hyperion books, I learned all aspects of the bookselling world. I was already familiar with the writing side of it. I began to speak about my experiences at book clubs and events, discovering that most readers have no idea of the mysterious, often perilous, journey a novel takes from the moment it begins in a writer's mind to when it eventually ends up in their hands.
Ironically, this book and I were also on a perilous journey, and it nearly didn't see print. Because it is such an honest look at the publishing world, most editors were uncomfortable with it. I was asked to "tone it down," but decided eventually that I didn't want to do that. I wanted to tell the very real story of what it's like to be a writer and a bookseller in today's world.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org