This brand new (published 2022) novel about bookish people doing bookish things is the best novel I’ve read in a good while. It comes in third or fourth of the best book I’ve read overall in 2022.

Olivia, “Liv” Green, cleaner, aspiring writer, avid reader of Essie Starling’s books, takes a job for Essie herself, cleaning her apartment. Essie’s books feature Georgia Ray, whom Liv would love to model herself after, but she doesn’t have the guts. As Liv develops as an author, she also develops as a person, growing more like Georgia Ray with each daring move.

Caught up in an impossible plot, Liv finds herself lying to her preoccupied husband, her two grown sons, and pulls it all off nicely. Frequent references to Essie’s books about Georgia’s life occur, as do references to Liv’s reading life of real, current authors, many of whom I’ve read and admired. Before being employed full time by Essie, Liv’s cleaning clients were the employers from hell. Released from her other jobs, Liv finds herself writing with and for Essie, for who knows Georgia Ray better than her strongest fan?

Many twists and turns and close calls frame this novel into a delightful read, one that will keep you turning pages to determine how Liv will “get out of this one.” It was a darned good read.


Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

10 thoughts on “CHRISTMAS EVE REVIEW of THE MESSY LIVES OF BOOK PEOPLE by Phaedra Patrick”

      1. I’m sorry to hear that, it is never pleasant to be sick, but over the holidays is even worse. I hope you are doing better now and able to get on track for the New Year.


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