Nice Work, Nora November

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Pub Date Jun 04 2024 | Archive Date Jul 04 2024

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Now that Nora is not dead, only one question remains: What does she want to do with her life?

Nora November is alive—but she wasn’t always. She was once clinically dead, having spent several minutes under water after a terrible surfing accident she doesn’t remember. What she does remember from her time in a coma is her grandfather, who passed away over a year ago. And a beautiful garden. And the most delicious tomato she ever tasted.

Now that she’s awake again her life has been cleaved in two. In the Before, Nora lived like a ghost, drowning under the weight of her parents’ expectations. In the After, she’s determined to accomplish the things she left undone before she died. Her reverse bucket list is simple: She wants to learn to cook and to be a better older sister to Lacey. She wants to quit her terrible job as a personal injury lawyer at her dad’s firm. She wants to bring Grandpa’s now-neglected garden back to life. And she wants to find the guy she met in a corner store months ago—the one she never called but never stopped thinking about.

As Nora’s attempts at a new life prove disastrous at best, her mission to fulfill her reverse bucket list leads her to a reckoning with the truth she almost hid from herself.

  • Women’s fiction with just a hint of light romance
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Perfect for fans of Linda Holmes, Matt Haig, and Abi Waxman
  • Book length: 100,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Now that Nora is not dead, only one question remains: What does she want to do with her life?

Nora November is alive—but she wasn’t always. She was once clinically dead, having spent several minutes...

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ISBN 9781400245734
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for a honest review.
Nice Work Nora November by Julia London was amazing, it touched me deeply and I'm so glad I got to go on the ride with Nora. I'm sad that the story is over and my only comment was I felt the ending was a bit rushed otherwise, this was so good

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Nora November is a character. After her near death experience, she really begins to live her life. Well paced, descriptive and creative. I enjoyed it immensely.

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I was not expecting to laugh out loud (and cry) as much as I did in Nice Work, Nora November. The ups and downs of Nora’s journey after her near death experience were such an enjoyable read. They make you question, how you doing on your own bucket list? What are you not making time for? Countless times the descriptions brought me to tears as they were so relatable.

The cast of secondary characters are fantastic. I gasped when this became a dual POV book. I did not seeing that coming and it was absolutely wonderful. Jack’s perspective, the stories of the families he met along the way and the senior gardeners/thespians helped to keep the book just light enough while the main character works through her journey. The flare and [sometimes brutal] honesty they bring to the book is great!

Make sure to read the trigger warnings for this book before you dive in. There are many serious struggles and situations discussed that, if you aren’t in the right headspace could be very hard on your heart.

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher and author for the ARC. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to read this!

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Overall I really enjoyed this book, especially as it drew me in right away and I wanted to find out more about Nora immediately. So many different taboo topics that are brilliantly dealt with.

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In "Nice Work, Nora November" by Julia London, readers are taken on a captivating journey through the life of Nora, a young woman who experiences a profound transformation after a near-death experience. The novel begins with Nora awakening from a coma, having survived a tragic surfing accident that left her clinically dead for several minutes. What follows is a remarkable story of self-discovery, resilience, and the pursuit of a life truly worth living. London skillfully delves into Nora's fragmented memories, where she recalls her time in a coma and vividly remembers her late grandfather and an enchanting garden, along with the taste of the most delicious tomato she ever experienced. These recollections become pivotal in Nora's newfound determination to embrace life fully and confront the unfulfilled desires and expectations that haunted her prior to the accident. The novel poignantly portrays the stark division between Nora's life "Before" and "After." In the "Before," she existed as a mere ghost, burdened by the weight of her parents' expectations, suffocating under the demands placed upon her. However, in the "After," Nora embarks on a reverse bucket list, driven by a desire to learn how to cook, be a better sister to Lacey, and revitalize her late grandfather's neglected garden. Additionally, she becomes consumed by the thought of a chance encounter with a mysterious man she met months ago and cannot forget. London masterfully captures the essence of Nora's journey as she navigates the challenges of her new life. Despite her best efforts, Nora's attempts at embracing her newfound purpose often lead to disastrous outcomes. It is through these failures that she finds the strength to confront the truths she had been hiding from herself. As readers accompany Nora on her quest for self-discovery, they are invited to reflect on their own lives and the importance of pursuing genuine happiness. London's writing effortlessly transports readers into Nora's world, creating a deep emotional connection with the protagonist. The author's vivid descriptions and nuanced storytelling evoke a range of emotions, from sorrow to hope, as Nora's transformation unfolds. "Nice Work, Nora November" is a thought-provoking and heartwarming novel that explores themes of resilience, identity, and the pursuit of a life well-lived. Julia London's compelling storytelling and relatable characters make this book a captivating read. Through Nora's journey, readers are reminded of the power of embracing second chances and the importance of living authentically.

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Nice Work, Nora November was SUCH a good book! Nora legally died for several minutes and is now living in the “after.” Her memory hasn’t fully recovered but she knows that she feels better and lighter than “before.” She is determined to keep her attitude and to move forward with her reverse bucket list. As she begins reengaging with her family, coworkers, and therapist she starts to realize how the “before” wasn’t so great for her. She starts to remember her depression, how she felt about her career and how complicated / difficult her family can be. She discovered what is important to her, her happiness and sanity since dying. I enjoyed reading about her determination in making sure she does things right this time. She is living for herself.

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I enjoyed this book. I loved how Nora had a second chance to start over in her life. I loved how she had a list of things she wanted to accomplish, including finding the one that got away. Most of all I loved how it covered mental illness. No one should be ashamed of it. I'm grateful that netgalley and the publishers let me read this in exchange for an honest review.

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Nice Work, Nora November had me hooked from the very first chapter. It starts with one of the most beautiful and comforting explanations of death that I honestly stopped reading for a few weeks just to marinate on that. When I jumped back in, I was immediately hooked.

Nora November was a high strung lawyer from an elite law firm owned by her father. An encounter with a NDE (near death experience) brought her back to the world with a refreshing and inspiring new look on life. She started living her life for herself after the NDE and this book follows the challenges that can arise from trying to make big changes.

I was rooting for Nora November throughout the entire book. I felt like she was a friend of my own and I wanted the best for her. I do feel like the book at the end was a little rushed. All of the characters (well most) were so likable that I would not be mad if there were tiny little novellas following that goes into their lives. Julia London truly made such a likable world with this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. And my opinion is that I cannot wait for this book to be in the world so everybody can get their hands on it!!

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Nice Work, Nora November is a fast and interesting read laced with a lot of 'aha" moments for me. Nora has a terrible accident one day and is dead for a few minutes upon afterwards she is determined to shake up her life and really start living. She starts her own backwards bucket list, determined to find a job she loves, be a better sister and find the man she met in a store one day and can't get out of her head. I related a lot to Nora as she felt like before her accident, she was trying to live to please others but never really felt like she got it right. I loved her interactions with Jack and the journey she takes on her quest to find the man that got away. I went into this book expecting a fun and lighthearted fast read but ended up taking stock of some of my life decisions in the process.

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It's an unexpected joy to find a book that so poignantly describes mental illness.

After a near-death experience (affectionately called an NDE), Nora November has a new lease on life. She writes a "reverse bucket list" for all the things she wants to do after her death, including but not limited to regrowing her grandfather's garden, learning to cook, playing basketball, making amends with her sister, and finding her one that got away.

And she fails at all of it. She lacks a green thumb and kills a fellow gardener's beloved plants in the process. She almost burns her sister's kitchen down. She injures herself playing basketball for the first time in over fifteen years since she's now in her thirties. And her sister doesn't forgive Nora right away for the ways Nora checked out during depressive episodes. Depression may explain why Nora was not a good sister, but it doesn't forgive the hurt. I loved that message so much.

I feel like there are a lot of times that literature, particularly romance-adjacent literature, tries to "solve" mental illness. A partner fixes it, the meds are a miracle, etc.. This isn't what happens here. Nora has to work so hard to keep from backsliding, and it made me feel seen as someone who has to work daily to continue to be happy or content. She fulfills the dreams of her reverse bucket list in unique ways, after trying and failing over and over again. Much of her fulfillment comes with surrounding herself with good people and letting go of the negative ones. It's an uphill battle, but a worthy one.

In short, there's a lot of strong messages here. Ones that I needed and ones that many could use.

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Wow! Very thought provoking read. Nora November has a near death experience while “surfing” while on vacation. After months of brain and physical rehabilitation she returns to life as an attorney. Only problem is she does not want her old life back. Nora goes on a mission for a reverse bucket list. Very moving read. I was given an advanced reader copy of this very well written book by NetGalley and I am freely sharing my review.

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After nearly drowning, when Nora wakes up from her coma, she decides she’s going to do things differently. She makes a bucket list of items of what she wants to do after she almost died. They are mostly small things like learning to cook and taking up the garden plot that her late, beloved grandfather died. There are some harder things, such as being a better sister and a better cousin, which in the Before times, she struggled with since depression made seemingly easy tasks insurmountably difficult. Oh, and she wants to track down the guy she was trapped with for several hours while they were held hostage during a botched robbery.

This is fun and fast and light and a nice reminder that if there are things you would like to do with your life, you only have a limited time to do them. There are also extraordinary coincidences, but again, fast and fun, so we won’t worry too much about real-life accuracy.

NetGalley provided an advance copy of this novel, which RELEASES JUNE 4 2024.

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What a great read! I could not put this ebook down once I started reading it. I will definitely recommend this book to be brought into my library for my patrons.

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My friends. I think 42 is too old to be staying up all night reading, don't you? If you agree with me, I urge you to start reading this earlier in the day. Believe me when I tell you, you won't be able to put this down and go to bed. You will be 100% submerged in this book and won't be able to walk away until it's over.

Honestly, I loved this book so much. I loved Nora, who is recovering from her Near Death Experience and is determined to make changes in her life. But life has a way of pulling you right back to the person you were before. She is so wonderful and thoughtful and caring, willing to face her fears and the worst parts of herself...I love her so much!!

And Jake. I just want to hug him. I love cinnamon rolls, and he is the gooiest. Surrounded by death every day, but determined to find a way to give back, to find joy and peace. And so supportive!! I love him!!!!

Also, the story overall does such a brilliant job of dealing with mental health, trauma, and toxic families. It also touches on some emotional and physical child abuse in a way that is sensitive and thoughtful. An absolute brilliant book. All the stars.

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Nice Work, Nora November tugged at my emotions. It is the kind of story that draws you in and doesn’t let go. It begins with Nora’s Near Death Experience. Nora is in a beautiful garden with her deceased grandfather who was the one person in her life that gave her love and support. Her dog, Roxie who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, was also there to greet her. It was so wonderful she didn’t want to leave. But she did! Upon rejoining the living Nora’s reflection on her life (Before) was in need of a great deal of help. In the (After) Nora created a reverse bucket list to help change all the negatives. The biggest of which was finding a new job away from her domineering, narcissistic father at his Personal Injury Law firm in which he insisted she be his future replacement, something she always despised. Nora suffered from severe depression. No one seemed to understand why she let people down. In the Before it ruled her life and she was determined in this new After she would become a better person and make things up to those she let down. She has many struggles as she works her way through her reverse bucket list. The shadow of her grandfather seems to help her at the hardest of times. One item on her list was to find Jack. She met him in the Before when they both had been taken hostage and really hit it off. It had seemed like love at first sight but they lost touch with each other. This back story of Nora and Jack as hostages is a real feel good part of this story. Her life in the After was full of many regrets but she stood up to each one and bravely looked them in the face, gave it her all and kept getting up if knocked down again. Her perseverance was not only amazing but very inspiring. There are side characters that lighten the story like the senior thespians who really need Nora’s help and her grandfather’s garden plot which she had ignored in the Before and now made a point of learning how to care for. I couldn’t help but admire Nora’s tenacity and courage working her way through her new After to a life worth living. I really enjoyed this book and believe you will too. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for an ARC. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was different than anything else I've read recently. I couldn't put it down! I will keep an eye out for this author's future work!

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Nice Work, Nora November is a thoughtful, engaging, and ultimately hopeful tale.

Following a near-death experience, Nora November undergoes a profound transformation in her perspective on life. Reflecting on her former self, she devises an 'anti-bucket list' to guide her towards genuine purpose and happiness.

Though there is a romance subplot, what stands out is Nora's independent growth. Her character is resolute and flawed, and her methods for navigating depression and setbacks are relatable. While I would have liked to have more insight into 'Nora before,' there were scattered glimpses throughout.

Nora's bond with her grandfather, his community garden, and his gentle encouragement sprinkled throughout the narrative are both charming and heartwarming. Despite grappling with weighty themes (I would recommend checking trigger warnings), the story maintains a delicate balance with moments of levity, rendering it both enjoyable and contemplative. The overarching themes of hope, embracing imperfection, self-care, compassion, and staying true to one's purpose really resonated with me.

Thank you Harper Muse and NetGalley for a copy of this book. Opinions expressed are my own.

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So most of us have some sort of goal in our minds during our lives. We dream of what we will be, or do, or have, and live our lives accordingly. Sometimes, however, we fall into the dreams that others have in mind for us. When an accident causes Nora November to experience death for several minutes, she has an epiphany on her "return" to life and decides to change her direction and do things she's not done in her life because of the constraints of others. You'd think this would be easy. And you'll have to read the book to find out how it goes! I loved it. Thanks NetGalley for the advance copy. Happy to leave an honest review.

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This story is not one I would have normally expected from Julia London, but I loved it! It is real. It is modern. It will not go away. Unlike so many books I read, enjoy and move on to the next. Nora November is staying with me. It speaks of the challenges of women who work in a male dominated industry, and who are tolerated, not welcome, no matter how talented or capable. It speaks to the challenges of mental health, abuse, addiction, and people who totally ignore all of those very real day to day issues. The characters are very real, they could be anyone you know, and feel like you do know them. This is billed as fiction, but is a valuable read for today’s world.

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