After a slow start I really found myself enjoying the witty (though very dry) humor in this book. Amy grows on you as you discover more of her character and background. I especially enjoyed the names of the chapters, trying to see if I could find the relationship as I read. Another part I liked was the “topics” Amy lists as story ideas/titles. They give another clue to Amy’s persona. Amy’s students are delightful, clearly and carefully drawn.
While the entire book is a put down of pretentious authors, it is also the story of a very human woman who has great sorrows to surmount. As is true with all good humor, there is also tragedy to provide contrast. Willett deals well with both. (spoiler alert – Maxine’s recovery is the one deviation from realistic outcomes in an otherwise well-paced and plotted tale.)
Anyone who enjoys a “good read” and, equally, a “bad read,” will enjoy this writer’s delight. If you are a potential novelist, there is much food for thought.
Book groups will have a field day with a variety of topics – truth vs fiction, honest criticism, how you see yourself as opposed to how others see you, marriage of convenience, dealing with rude/stupid/ignorant people (and being rude/stupid/ignorant yourself), personal growth and change, phobias and others.