Cover Image: The Messy Lives of Book People

The Messy Lives of Book People

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Member Reviews

family, family-business, family-dynamics, famous-author, England, inheritance, personal-growth, personal-sacrifice, hope*****

Liv is an underappreciated wife/mother/multi-contract maid service who is surprised and dismayed when life takes an unbelievable life changing inheritance from her favorite client/writer. Fantastic character growth and development in Liv as she works through everything. The other characters are so well defined and interesting, but it is Liv and Essie who really live on. Like hope itself. Wonderful read!
I requested and received a free e-book copy from Bookouture via NetGalley. Thank you
PS The book is called THE MESSY LIVES OF BOOK PEOPLE in the US and Canada, and THE BOOK SHARE in the UK
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I have loved every book I've read by Phaedra Patrick and The Messy Lives of Book People is no exception! Liv Green and her husband are barely scraping by, so she starts a job cleaning houses and offices. One day, she is offered the job to be the cleaner for one of the most famous authors in the world, Essie Starling. They slowly become friends, but then, Essie passes away. Liv finds out that Essie's last dying wish is for her to finish Essie's last book. And learns so much about herself in the process. I just adored this book, and of course, any book that deals with books is always a "yes" for me! I found myself connecting with Liv easily and getting extremely frustrated with her husband, just as she was. And I felt her pain when she discovered the truths about her life that she never knew. This was such a fantastic book, and I am already thinking about what Phaedra Patrick will write about next!
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I picked this book up because I had read Phaedra Patrick's The Library of Lost and Found and enjoyed it very much, so I was glad to have a chance to read this one.  

Liv Green, a married mother of two, is struggling to get by and working as a housekeeper.  She felt so lucky to land a job as housekeeper for her favorite author, Essie Starling.  Liv is a true fan of the bestselling author and has read all her books. She began reading Essie's series when she was just a child and had clung to the books where she could lose herself and escape.  Essie is a recluse and most people she employs don't last very long. But for some reason Essie seems to like Liv and talks regularly with her.  Liv is stunned when Essie dies and finds out that her last wish was for Liv to complete her final novel. As Liv begins to write she uncovers some secrets that reveal a surprising connection between the two women.

Loved the characters in this book.  Liv has a lot of heart, and Essie is a good quirkly character; I liked both of them.  The writing was enjoyable and the book flowed well.  It was a good plot and kept my attention - I was anxious for Liv to successfully complete the novel and to do well with it.

Thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row through Netgalley for an advance copy.  This book will be published on May 31, 2022.
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When you love to read books, there is always a draw to books about authors and the writing process. In The Messy Lives of Book People we meet Liv Green, a mother of two who barely squeaks by as a cleaner.  Her only excitement is that her third job is cleaning for her favorite author, the reclusive Essie Starling.  When Essie dies suddenly, her solicitor informs Liv that she has been taxed with finishing Essie's 20th book in a series.  

Liv goes on a journey, physically and mentally to learn more about Essie in the hopes of figuring out who should be the love of her character's life.  Somehow, by understanding Essie she can better understand and thus write, the character, Georgia Rory. 

The book is beautifully written and I love the references of other modern authors but I had a hard time with the premise for a chunk of the book. Yes, it does indeed make sense in the end and makes my doubts worth while. So, just go for the ride and enjoy.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for this honest review.
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Well written, heartwarming and fun! This was a lighthearted fun adventure!  I enjoyed Liv's character growth.
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This book has been a joy to read. The main character is trying to make ends meet. A twist in her story gives her an opportunity she has always wanted to do: write a book! Will she success or fail?
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The Messy Lives of Book People - this was a such an enjoyable and wonderfully slow-paced mystery with great writing and a storyline that kept me turning the pages! I really loved Liv Green, she is so relatable and I found myself quietly cheering her on as I was reading! Loved it and would highly recommend!

Thank you to Phaedra Patrick, Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

Available May 31, 2022
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I did enjoy this book, the characters and the plot. Who doesn't like a book about books?  Our protagonist becomes a writer, by chance, and she finds a new lease on  life as she discovers the secrets of a famous writer, which changes her life.
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LOVED it!!! I can't stop thinking about this, such a magical and beautifully written book. I would definitely be friends with Liv. She loves to clean and loves books. I love one of those and it's not cleaning. For awhile I thought maybe Essie was really disappearing, but it wasn't that type of book. Liv's sister in law was horrid and definitely took advantage of her brother. It seemed like Liv's husband though she wouldn't understand the printing press industry. Liv ended up having great ideas how to keep the family business running when she was finally asked her opinion. Loved the mystery Liv was trying to solve about Essie. Who was the love of Essie's life? When the truth was finally revealed to Liv, I was shocked. I never saw that coming or would have guessed that outcome. Writing the final novel for Essie, changed Liv's life and gave her something to focus on. At home she was no longer needed by her college aged sons and her husband was consumed by work and his sister's demands. Liv stepped out of her comfort zone. From the moment I started reading this, I couldn't put it down and then when I got to the end I was sad. I wanted to keep reading about Liv and seeing what she was up to. I felt like I was part of the book.

Definitely recommend the book. Loved the characters, writing style and story. The book was full of friendship, family relationships, love, loss and so much more. I forgot to mention books, books and more books. Look forward to reading more books by the author. Love the cover of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin Trade Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for letting me read and review this book.

The Messy Lives of Book People tells the story of a reclusive writer and the unlikely person left to carry out her legacy. 

I came into this book having just read Verity, another novel where tragedy strikes and an author's last works have to be seen through by another writer. This is a very fun theme to play with, and I am rather enjoying the trend of books centered around bookish culture. Phaedra Patrick riffs on this concept, and takes it in a much more cozy direction. Through this unconventional mission given by a deceased author, the main character, Liv, is able to grow into a person who she has never been confident enough to become.

I know the focus of the book was on Liv's self-actualization through her mission from Essie, but I felt like the lack of depth in the other characters did a disservice to the book as a whole, and even to the protagonist herself. The shallowness and lack of detail in these other people in Liv's life made her journey and growth seem largely empty. I would have liked to see a bit more flavor coloring the journey she was on.

The pacing of the novel was a bit slow, and I thought the revelations made by Liv could have been foreshadowed a bit better. The stakes and urgency were also not adequately framed in my opinion, and had little payoff as a result.

That said, if you're looking for another cozy bookish novel, this might be your ticket. 

Crossposted to goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4707529538
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This was one book I couldn't put down for the life of me. When Liv becomes more wrapped up in Essie's life, she sees a mystery unfold and Patrick takes the reader along for the journey. We see the past and the present unwind and it's relatable to anyone who had to take an unexpected path and learn about their present self by looking closely at the past. And with Liv and Essie, the past is more intertwined than I expected.
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This is a sure hit for all those cozy mystery lovers. Our book loving heroine wants to be a writer and has the chance to pursue her dreams while uncovering the secrets of her mentor.
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Liv Green is busy. She works three cleaning jobs, picks up after her college age sons, and contends with her husband and his family’s small business. The bright spot in her work is cleaning the home of her favorite author, Essie Starling, a recluse who writes Liv’s favorite book series and gives her a glimpse into a glittery world Liv only dreams of. One day Liv spots a manuscript for Essie’s latest novel and can’t resist taking a peek, hopeful that Essie has regained the spark that seems to have faded from her last few entries. When the author catches her red-handed, she’s sure that she’ll lose her job; however, to her surprise, Essie asks her honest opinion of both the draft and her recent work and acknowledges Liv’s familiarity with her writing. Later, Essie surprises Liv by asking her to help her in regaining some of her lost literary magic as she writes. As she is processing this request, Liv is shocked to be called to meet with an attorney who drops a bombshell: Essie has died suddenly and her final request was for Liv to complete her final book. She must finish by a specific date six months hence. Oh, and she cannot reveal the news of Essie’s passing to anyone. Uncertain whether she’s living a dream or a nightmare, Liv agrees to the task, quits her other jobs, and commences writing—something she’s secretly always wanted to do. As she journeys to restore Essie’s voice, she finds her own and copes with unexpected revelations.
I thoroughly enjoyed Liv’s story. Beautifully written with memorable characters. Thanks to NetGalley for the arc!
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Excellent story of a writer, Essie Sterling, who writes a series that has a huge following. Liz Green is her housekeeper and a wannabe writer. As her relationship with Essie develops she finds herself in a peculiar situation. One that seems to bring the best out of her but challenges her to an extreme. She is possibly jeopardizing her marriage, however, by doing something she always thought her life could be. I recommend this read it has good characters and shows hope and strength. It has enduring love, grief, plus confidence, and joy. Thank you, NetGalley, and Harlequin Trade Publishers. For this eARC, this is my honest viewpoint.
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I did enjoy this book, for the most part. The writing and the plot were good, but I did feel the story dragged in parts, and sometimes seemed a bit far-fetched. I must admit that I enjoyed Phaedra Patrick's previous books more than this one
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Light and fast paced, this book covers less than a year of Olivia Green's life, but one of great change.  She is a house cleaner in Manningham, England, with a husband and two teenage sons.  She has worked several days a week for her favorite author, Essie Starling, whose books she has read for 20 years.  Essie's faith in her and her own desire to become a writer, push Liv to rethink who she is as she completes one last task assigned by Essie.  Sort of a late-in-life coming of age tale, during which Liv grows, investigates, and feels differently about her own self and her own life.  A light read, with entertaining characters.  Includes discussion questions for book groups.
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The Messy Lives of Book People hooked me right away.  Liv, Olivia, Green is a 40 ish wife and mom, living a life that doesn't quite live up to what she wants for herself.  She doesn't see the potential within her and is afraid to go after what she wants. When luck, fate, and intentional intervention lead to her developing a relationship with an author she's admired for years she starts to see glimpses of a life she imagined for herself when she was younger, before kids and marriage and life.  Liv's unlikely friendship with author Essie Sterling leads Liv down paths she never imagined but always wanted to go. There were definitely parts of this book that I struggled with, because I didn't want it to happen "that way", but I loved watching Liv come into her own and truly start to find herself and her passion. It makes me hopeful that life can really begin at any age, we are always able to reinvent ourselves. Overall I really enjoyed this book.
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The Messy Lives of Book People was a great read. I loved getting to know Liv and Essie. I enjoyed watching Liv get to know herself and grow as a person. Such a wonderful story.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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While well-written, with an interesting premise and plot, I found myself losing interest about halfway through, mainly because I didn’t feel the depth of care for the main characters as I usually y do in this author’s novels. I did read to the end and love how she brought everything together. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. It's the first book i have read by Phaedra Patrick so I had no expectations for the author. The book started a little slow for me but soon I was invested in the character, Liv as she slowly discovered herself. The book had some surprising twists that I didn’t expect in this type of read. Well done!
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