I received an advanced review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing through NetGalley.
Now that it’s starting to look like fall, especially where I live in New England, I am in the mood for a cozy read with a feel good message. The Moment of Everything is the perfect book to read on a cool New England night, curled up by the fire, with a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea.
The main character of the book is Maggie who was an English Lit. major in college and was hoping to make a career as a Librarian. But when her tech savvy best friend, Dizzy, heads off to Silicon Valley after graduate school she tags along with him. Together they found a tech company called ArGoNet and for a while she is content with her life. Even though she isn’t working around books, which was her original plan, she is making a decent salary and has carved out a unique career for herself in the tech. industry.
When the very company Maggie helped to build downsizes, she is given a pink slip and finds herself at a crossroads in her life. She is now in her thirties, with no job, very little in her bank account and, in order to avoid reality, decides to hide out and read cheap romance novels at the local used bookstore everyday.
Maggie seems most at home around the messy and scattered books that are all over the store where her good friend, Hugo, is the owner. Hugo lets her sit in one of the two tattered chairs at the store, the Dragonfly, and read all of the free books she wants while Jason, the only other employee at the store, taunts and annoys her. Together they make a sort of dysfunctional family and as the book progresses it is Hugo and Jason that help Maggie through tough times and difficult choices.
This cozy book would not, of course, be complete without a romance. Maggie, because she has witnessed her father cheat on her mother for many years, is afraid of commitment and is never really sure she has ever been in love. I don’t want to give too much away, but the romantic subplot of the book is clever and is not your typical “love at first sight”, swooning fairytale ending.
If you are a booklover, you will adore the literary references that are scattered throughout the text. At one point Maggie is forced by her friend Dizzy to join a snobby book club where they are reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Maggie’s copy is, of course, a tattered and falling apart edition from the shelves of the Dragonfly with interesting notes in the margins.
King nimbly intertwines the topics and themes of the books she mentions with the thoughts and struggles of the characters in the book. Whereas A.J. Fikry was somewhat of a book snob who only read serious literature, Maggie reads books from all sorts of genres and for that reason she appears genuinely likeable to the reader.
So, my recommendation is that this fall you light a fire (or like me have your husband light one), grab a comfy blanket, a fluffy cat and settle in with THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING. I am excited to see what Shelly King has in store for us next.