Another worthy debut! Literary fiction which was slow paced, yet it held my interest throughout.
Mind you… the characters were not very likeable. Riddled with entitled attitudes, fragile egos, elitist lifestyles, and emotional insecurities, some of them, like the egoist Ward Manning, were downright odious. Isabelle herself has been thoroughly damaged by her father on many levels. The recent death of her mother finds her floundering with grief, and causes her to reach an emotional crossroads. The book was a sort of ‘coming-of-age’ novel even though the protagonist was in her mid thirties.
My favorite character was Claire Manning. Despite her bitter resentment of her husband, she was the glue that held the family together and she was an excellent parent to Isabelle.
There was a ‘book within a book‘ permeating the entire novel. I found them to be almost mirror images of each other which would have led to some confusion – were it not for the clear headings that delineated them.
I have to say that the title was an excellent choice which was a perfect fit for the story.
With themes of white privilege, the need for vindication, bitter resentment, betrayal, provenance and plagiarism, this novel was an interesting take on writing, publishing, and finding your own voice.
I enjoyed the writing, and admire the author’s talent even though the characters and story were not completely to my liking. I look forward to reading her next book.
3.5 stars rounded up for Amazon and NetGalley and rounded down for Goodreads where the ratings have different valuesThis review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Atria Books / Simon and Schuster via NetGalley. It was published on March 14, 2023.
ISBN: 9781982199241 ASIN: B0B3YDJ927 352 pages
Leigh McMullan Abramson has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, Tablet Magazine and more. She grew up in New York City, the daughter of a children’s author and an illustrator.
Leigh’s parents often collaborated on picture books—many based on Leigh’s own childhood experiences. Leigh studied ballet at The School of American Ballet into her teens, but eventually rebelled against her artistic family by going to law school. She practiced law for several years before following her passion for writing.
Leigh now lives in New York City and Vermont with her husband and two young children.
A LIKELY STORY is her first novel.
Connect with the author via her Website, Twitter, and/or Instagram.
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Hmm, I am not big on unlikable characters, but I am glad it was an enjoyable read for you Lynne. Nice review.
This one has some very interesting themes explored but what really catches my eye is the book within a book idea. Thanks for sharing this with us, Lynne! 😀
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