If you love charming, quirky novels, you have come to the right place! This book is being compared with Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, two of my favorites, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m happy to say it ranks right up there with them.
Alice Pearse is happily married with three young children. She is the part time books editor at the fictional woman’s magazine, You. She is an avid reader and a true book lover, which I could totally relate to.
Alice’s husband Nicholas is a lawyer who comes home one day and tells her he’s not making partner, had a hissy fit at work and is opening his own office. And by the way, would she mind getting a full time job until he gets his business going?
Alice finds what she thinks will be the perfect job as “arbiter of taste” for a new start up, a book/reading salon that sounds too good to be true – and of course it is. While she struggles to get with the technology and fit in with all the nerds at work, she also has to deal with her father, who suffers a serious setback in his fight against throat cancer.
Nicholas steps up to do more with the kids, the cooking and the housework. Babysitter Jessie puts in more hours but Alice’s best friend owns a traditional, small bookstore and considers Alice as having made a deal with the devil, straining their friendship.
Alice soldiers on as best as she can, and we can’t help rooting for her in this delightful debut novel. The techie nightmare she finds herself in is uncannily like the recent NY Times story about what it’s like to work at Amazon.com (while this book was written more than a year before that article appeared along with its subsequent publicity.) The characters are wonderfully drawn and we can’t help but care about them. It is a fast read and frankly, I couldn’t put it down. Book clubs will love it as much as I did.
9/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan. Simon & Schuster (August 25, 2015). ISBN 978-1501105432. 384p.