Book Review

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

Rating: 5 out of 5.

When a famous author, Essie Starling, passes away, she leaves a shocking request for her housecleaner — to complete her final novel. But can Liv finish it in time? And better yet, can she unlock Essie’s secrets and give her characters the perfect ending they deserve?

Reader’s Thoughts:

Give me a title with the word “book” in it and I’m all in! So when I heard that Phaedra Patrick, author of books like The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (which I adored!) had a new book, The Messy Lives of Book People, I knew I needed to grab a copy.

Liv is a housecleaner for a famous, reclusive novelist. When Essie Starling passes away, she leaves one last shocking request — that Liv complete her final novel for her.

The thing I most adored about this book was the character of Liv. She’s in her forties, with two college-age sons and a troubled marriage. As a cleaner, she’s often invisible and overlooked, and yet she still takes such great pride in her work. Cleaning for famous author Essie Starling allows Liv to uncover the dreams she once held and gives her a chance to strive for all that she could be. This was a well-formed character, full of authenticity, and it was an absolute joy to follow along with her story.

Patrick’s writing has a lovely sense of humor and freshness to it. The story felt comfortable and easy to slip into. And while the plot had notes of familiarity, there were some really great moments and a hint of mystery that I didn’t see coming.

Also, can we chat about this amazing cover? Not only is it eye-catchingly stunning with its bright colors, if you look very closely at the books on the shelf, you’ll see the titles of Patrick’s other books! Clearly, her fictional character was a fan of her own work — and I love that!

This was a read that I was more than happy to slow down and savor! Heartfelt and cozy, it’s a lovely read for bookish people.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Recommended for:

Readers who love sweet and heartfelt stories about reaching one’s potential.

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of the publisher, Harper Collins Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the book:

(From the publisher) 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.

When Essie passes away suddenly, Liv is astonished to learn that her dying wish was for Liv to complete her final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie’s shoes. 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…

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