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Friday, April 5, 2019

REVIEW: The Editor by Steven Rowley @mrstevenrowley @putnambooks

The Editor 
by Steven Rowley 

Thanks so much to Putnam Books for this free copy.  

Publisher: Putnam
Publish Date: April 2, 2019
320 Pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Contemporary

After years of struggling as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally gets his big break when his novel sells to an editor at a major publishing house: Jackie Kennedy. Jackie, or Mrs. Onassis as she's known in the office, has fallen in love with James's candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book's forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can't bring himself to finish the manuscript.

With her shrewd drive and intuition, Jackie pushes James to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. But when a long-held family secret is revealed, he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page... 

My Review:

I honestly don't know what I expected going into this book, but it certainly wasn't what I got.  This is outside of my normal genre but is a prime example of why I love going outside of my usual reads.  I absolutely know just about nothing about the Kennedys or Jackie O - I was never that person that was obsessed with them but of course I know the "basics" because I don't live under a rock.  And while Jackie is an integral part of this story line, she doesn't steal the show.

I absolutely love the way the author portrayed Jackie.  Elegant, professional, humble, fierce and just human all around.  We forget that famous people are actually REAL people sometimes.  But the story here is James's to tell.  A book about a writer trying to find his ending, in the novel and in his life.  Autobiographical fiction is always a genre that I find interesting as you never know where the truth ends and the "fiction" begins.. and as explained in this book, it's never ending because you continue on although the story in the book may not.

I truly adored James's relationship with Daniel.  Imperfectly perfect.  The yin and the yang and full on support of each other regardless of the dips. With the push of Jackie and Daniel, James has to face some things in his life that he doesn't want to - particularly his strained relationship with his mother and as secrets become revealed, it becomes even harder. 

The journey James takes with his family, his partner and his career was emotional at times.  The ending was tied up nicely and satisfying but for some reason I felt like it almost, ALMOST, had that after school special moment.  I didn't quite feel that connection with the characters that I would've liked for a book of this stature - and you guys, this is GOOD!  I would definitely recommend this for those who love contemporary historical fiction.  Now excuse me while I got fine Lily and the Octopus.


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