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The Messy Lives of Book People

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The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick is spectacular! I absolutely love Phaedra Patrick's writing!!!!

There are elements of a book within a book (love it!), a mystery to be solved, our heroine Liv learning who she really is, Liv and Jake's marriage getting saved from boredom, and a final twist that I did not see coming until it was on the page in front of me. I knew there was one more piece to the puzzle, but I had no idea what it was! 

I received an advance review copy for free from NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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First off, thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this ARC digital copy 

I didn't love this book but I found it an enjoyable easy read. Our MC Liz works as a cleaner int eh home of her favorite author, Essie Starling. Tragically, Essie dies unexpectedly, and Liz soon finds out Essie wanted Like to complete the last book she had been working on. As Liz digs deeper, she learns Essie's life was not what it appeared to be on the surface. This book is a steady read with both fast and slow moments, overall an enjoyable read
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When I first began to read the ARC of #TheMessyLivesofBookPeople by Phaedra Patrick, supplied to me through  #NetGalley, I found the book difficult to get into and by the time I reached the fourth chapter, I was considering setting the book aside. I persevered, however, and was quite pleased that I continued reading to the end. The book, which I frankly found to be 'messy' at the beginning, quickly developed into a page-turner that I was loathe to put aside. I admit to losing a good night's sleep in the process.
Once I got past the first three chapters, I found the characters became intriguing and the unfolding of the story of how they related to one another fascinating as the book progressed. The author aptly illustrates how decisions made throughout one's life can affect others in unexpected and life-altering ways and follows the growth of the main character Olivia as she embraces the challenges she is faced with and becomes a stronger, more confident woman.
Patrick has written an intricate story filled with compelling and relatable characters. It is full of bookish references that will make any book lover happy as they read through.
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The unannounced death of a famous author catapults her cleaning lady into the role of being the writer to complete the final book in the author's popular series. The growth the protagonist experiences and the confidence she gains through this experience are fascinating and affirming. The mystery as to why she was chosen to complete the work is a fun reveal. Great pacing and interesting relationships make this a book hard to put down.
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This book could have been a little shorter, but I did enjoy it. It went into a little too much detail about things that didn’t matter, but all in all it was a good book with a great story!
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Another stellar novel from Phaedra Patrick! With every book of hers I read, I become a bigger fan than the last time.

The fact that she wrote it was the first thing that attracted me to "The Messy Lives of Book People," but what made it even more appealing is that I am an author and publisher myself. So, I love book people. And yes, many of us have messy lives...

The story did not disappoint! There was so much that resonated with me about the characters, the trajectory their lives took, the problems they faced, and the outcome that resulted. I cared deeply about how everything would turn out and am grateful to have had the chance to meet these characters and tag along on their journey of self-discovery.

Thank you to Phaedra Patrick, Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for an advance review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free early digital copy of this book.  The opinions given are my own honest views. I read and enjoyed The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper a few years ago, so I was really looking forward to reading Patrick's new book, and it did not disappoint.  This is a story that booklovers will love.  Liv is a mother of two teenage boys. She and her husband have been struggling lately (financially, and otherwise), but she enjoys her work as a house cleaner, especially the job she has cleaning house for her favorite author, Essie Starling. But when Essie suddenly passes away, Liv cannot believe it. What happens following Essie's death is even more unbelievable.  She learns that Essie's last wish is for Liv to complete her final book of the Georgia Rory series. Liv grew up reading these books and Georgia was a hero of hers.  Can she do the book justice? And to top it off, can she do it without anyone finding out what she is doing? What starts out as a dream assignment, turns out to be an exploration of self, life and her own past. Can Liv find her inner Georgia and have the strength to come out the other side as a better person? A stronger person? And will all the relationships in her life survive? What begins as a fun adventure turns in to a meaningful path of discovery.  Well done, Ms. Patrick. Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves books and has found strength in stories and fictional characters.
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Liv is a cleaner for her favorite author, Essie Starling. When Essie unexpectedly dies, Liv finds out that Essie wants her to complete her last book that she had been working on. As Liv works on her novel, she tries to find out more about Essie's life, especially her love life. Simultaneously, Liv starts to discover that her life previously had not been all she dreamed of. As she starts to discover herself, she finds out there is still life for her out there.

This book had fast and slow moments. I liked the parts of her delving into Essie's life a lot and liked those about her own life less. There were also some things that seemed very implausible like with the conference. However, it was overall enjoyable read. 

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A quick enjoyable read about a woman who puts everyone first and gets to live her dreams for the first time. Add a bit of mystery and this kept me wanting to turn the pages. This reminded me of the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57938945-the-messy-lives-of-book-people" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Messy Lives of Book People" src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1647259807l/57938945._SX98_.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57938945-the-messy-lives-of-book-people">The Messy Lives of Book People</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14203653.Phaedra_Patrick">Phaedra Patrick</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4643450438">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
<br />A quick enjoyable read about a woman who puts everyone first and gets to live her dreams for the first time. Add a bit of mystery and this kept me wanting to turn the pages. This reminded me of the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. 
<br/><br/>
<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/58275821-alisha-noelle">View all my reviews</a>
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The Messy Lives of Book People 
by Phaedra Patrick 
Pub Date: May 31, 2022
Park Row
Thanks to the author, Park Row, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  It found a little place in my heart. 
Who doesn't think of what life may be like on the other side?  I loved this book. Liv is the housekeeper for Essie.
But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie's final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie's shoes, and 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...This is my first read by Phaedra Patrick but it won't be my last. 
Look for Phaedra Patrick's previous charming bestsellers!

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone
The Library of Lost and Found
The Secrets of Love Story Bridge
4 stars
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The Messy Lives of Book People
by Phaedra Patrick
Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row
Pub Date: May 31

Liv Green is happy to just clean the house of her fav writer, reclusive Essie Starling. When Essie unexpectedly dies, she leaves instructions for Liv: To keep her death secret, and to finish her famous series. Liv wonders, "Why me?" As she starts to write, she discovers an unexpected connection to Essie that sheds light on her decision. 

A charming cozy mystery that gives a delightful escape when life gets too real. Such fun!

Thanks to the author, Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

#TheMessyLivesOfBookPeople #Phaedra Patrick #HarlequinTradePublishingParkRow
#NetGalley #womensfictionnovel #reclusivewriterfiction #cozymystery #bookstagramcommunity
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What a fantastic title! 
What a charming book cover! 

But, unfortunately it was just an okay read.

Perhaps because this book seemed like a cross between “Who is Maud Dixon” by Alexandra Andrews and “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (which was even mentioned in the book), and both featured difficult authors-and those employed by them-it felt too familiar and predictable.

When the moody, reclusive bestselling author Essie Starling, stipulates in her Will that upon her death, her house cleaner, Liv Green should finish writing her twentieth and final-Georgia Rory novel -it will lead Liv on a path of self discovery.

Instead of Morocco (Maud Dixon) Liv will travel to Croatia and she will seek out Essie’s past husbands (Evelyn Hugo) in an attempt to figure out who had been her true love, so that she could “write” this character for the fictional Georgia Rory. 

Throughout the narrative we also get to read snippets from the Georgia Rory novels, and well, let’s just say they would have been DNF for me! 🤭🙄

Perhaps readers who haven’t read the above mentioned books will be more charmed by this one than I was, as I seem to be an outlier once again. 

Sigh

I really wanted to love this novel. 

Thank You to Park Row for the gifted ARC of this book. Fans of Phaedra Patrick’s past novels can pick this one up on May 31, 2022
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Cozy mystery meets, bookish fiction. It had its moments, overall I didn't fall in love with this book, but I still found it enjoyable.
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You know the kind of book you take on a trip or carry in your bag just in case, the easy read that you can read in a crowded room or loud restaurant, a book that isn't complicated and doesn't cause you to dig deep within yourself against your will with the kind of story that is so far away from your reality that you find comfort in its strangeness? That's what I thought I was getting with this one and that is exactly the kind of books that got Liv through tough times in her own life. 
  This however is not that kind of book. I saw myself in Livs life and in her questioning of its completeness. Liv has the mundane, lack of true excitement, kind of life we all live at some point until she gets a peek at how the other half live, now she has to decide if what she had at home with her husband and their almost empty nest is what she truly wants. Liv gets the opportunity a lot of us never will, to live out her fantasies. 
Every character is so relatable and has depth Phaedra Patrick so easily portrays. We all have known a Hank full of magnetic charm or an Anthony lost in the wrong life. Not many of us have known a Essie Starling but that is definitely the allure of a woman so unique. Patrick's characters are never flat.
There is one scene near the end that tugged at my heartstrings so hard I feel the author had to have experienced this herself. The emotion translated clearly off the pages. 
You will find all the good stuff in this book about books and the people that surround them.  A little bit of fashion, mystery, romance, some tea and a whole lot of life.
5/5, some mild adult content nothing vulgar
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Liv has always loved reading and has hopes of someday becoming a writer. Liv’s part-time cleaning jobs include one for her favorite author, Essie Starling. Liv especially loves Georgina, the heroine in Essie’s books, and sometimes imagines herself as Georgina, or thinks about how Georgina would handle some situations. Essie, a mysterious recluse for many years, is not an easy person to interact with, but Liv is grateful for the job. Little by little, as Essie working on her twentieth book, she begins to leave a note here and there for Liv, sometimes recommending books to read, and even asking Liv’s opinion on the newest book. 

When things take a turn, and Liv is asked to finish Essie’s twentieth novel, Liv finds rather quickly that being a writer is not all glamour and romance. Not everything is neat and tidy. Liv is under a strict time frame and cannot tell anyone what she is doing, not even her family. She starts her work, reading and making notes on what Essie has written. Liv also feels that figuring out what happened in Essie’s past may help her understand better what to write, how to write it, how to complete and understand Georgina’s story. As the weeks and months go on, Liv begins to realize that she is more than capable of speaking up and affecting change in her own life. 

I absolutely recommend this beautiful, emotional story!
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I liked this! Any book about book or writers is fun to read. I loved the premise of the book and it was exciting when the little mystery was solved toward the end!
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I feel like this book got off to a very interesting start, but somewhere in the first half it became difficult to understand the main character’s actions and motivations. I stuck with it however, and found it to be interesting but somewhat of a disappointment as the story unfolded. The character seemed to do too many out of character things to keep things plausible, but maybe that was an intentional effort. Maybe this just wasn’t the book for me this time.

I do, however, applaud this author for her writing style, character building, and ability  to wrap up the story nicely.
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This was a fun and heartfelt story about two writers, one aspiring and one wildly successful.  True to Phaedra Patrick's style, we are asked to throw away our predisposition that true life normally wouldn't come together quite like her story leads us.  But, it's okay.  Stick with the story and it all works out to a heartwarming ending.  Phaedra Patrick's writing and stories are like a warm hug.  I truly enjoy her characters and watching them learn little bits about themselves, while embarking on a journey they have somewhat reluctantly stumbled into.

For Liv Green, our heroine in Messy Lives of Book People, this journey is to madly finish book #20 in her favorite, recently deceased, author's book series.  Liv also happens to be author Essie Starling's housekeeper.  Of course, we learn later that may not have been so happenstance.  A really fun addition to this book was the mention of all the books that Liv is either currently reading or listening to throughout her days.  We also see a bit of an author's writing process through Liv.  I can imagine Phaedra Patrick used her own experience in those paragraphs.

A delightful quick read, cozy and warm, a bit melancholy (but all for good reason and worth it!).  I really enjoyed this book.

My sincere thanks to NetGalley, Park Row, and Phaedra Patrick for an advanced digital review copy, in exchange for my honest review.
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A shy, unassuming cleaner fulfills the last wishes of a famous, reclusive author in Phaedra Patrick's charming new novel. 

Forty-two-year-old Olivia "Liv" Green has lived a safe, conventional life as a dutiful wife, a caring mother of two grown children, and a hardworking cleaner to reclusive author Essie Starling. But Liv has always longed for something more out of life, more adventure, like her childhood literary hero, Georgia Rory, from Essie's famous series of books.  After all, her husband spends long hours at the family business, her children have grown up and left the nest, and she still clings to her childhood dream of becoming a writer, as encouraged by her late father, an English professor. 

So when Essie, on her deathbed, requests that Liv finish the final novel in her famous Georgia Rory series, Liv is equally thrilled and terrified. More importantly, why did Essie choose her for the task? 

As Liv struggles to pen the perfect ending to Georgia Rory's story, she also uncovers the mysteries of Essie's enigmatic past, including the great love of Essie's life. Liv, in turn, gains the courage to step outside the confines of her conventional life to become the writer she always longed to be. 

This was a delightful book, juxtaposing the lives of two very different women: a humble cleaner and a reclusive, wealthy author. Liv is a likable, kindhearted protagonist; the reader can't help but root for her as she struggles to overcome her fears and finish Essie's final novel. The deceased Essie's spirit is very much alive throughout the story as Liv unearths the mysteries--and contradictions--of this complex woman's past. And complex she is: there are many gray areas to Essie Starling's character,  both sympathetic and unsavory, causing the reader to think and rethink how they perceive her and her final actions.  In closing, the scene where Liv visits Essie's college apartment was particularly touching and beautifully summed up the novel's overarching themes.

Phaedra Patrick has given us another lovely novel to add to our libraries. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Park Row, and author Phaedra Patrick for an ARC of this novel. All opinions are my own.
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Publication date: May 31, 2022

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book. This in no way affects my review, all opinions are my own and may be affected by the fact that it is windy and freezing rain outside and I have nothing better to do than read multiple books a day!

SYNOPSIS
*****************
In the winning new novel from the beloved author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, the house cleaner of a famously reclusive author must carry out her employer's life-changing last wish...

Have you ever wished you were someone else?

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, mega-bestselling 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.

But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie's final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie's shoes, and 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...

Why did I think that Phaedra Patrick was a member of the Real Housewives of Atlanta?  Ignore that ... it was the uncommon first name....Phaedra PARKS is a housewife...I would never want to be in HER shoes!!  

This is one of those books where you sit and think about what celebrity writer (or just whatever famous person you admire or wonder about...) you would want to be, even if just for a day.  (I just want to be a fly on the wall of ERII .. or Meghan Markle ... to see what she is really like!)

The story was well crafted and a delight to read: I will highly recommend it to friends, family, patrons and people I see reading on mass transit..along with her other books that I am now going to go back and read again!
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