Saturday, August 16, 2014

Best Seller by Martha Reynolds (5 stars)

About Best Seller
(from GoodReads)

Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, BEST SELLER is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family.

"Everything can be fixed by writing a check." 

Words to live by for Robin Fortune's wealthy father, until he can't buy her way back into college after she's expelled for dealing pot. Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that's just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin's facing. 

At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night - all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet. 

But now, there's nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she'll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.

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Robin Fortune has had, well, a bit of misfortune. She's kicked out of college for selling pot. To teach her a lesson, her father forces her to make it on her own for a while. Now working to pay the rent and on her own, she still dreams of one day turning her story--handwritten in several notebooks--into a best selling novel. She'd love to follow in the footsteps of her favorite author, Maryana Capture. 

Unfortunately, one road block after another gets in Robin's way; her mother and father are having marital troubles, Robin is having boyfriend troubles, and not everyone in Robin's life is playing fair. Can she find her way with so many obstacles in her path?

A successful coming-of-age tale depends on a relatable main character who can capture the reader's heart. Robin is so that character. She's headstrong, yet flawed; loving, yet selfish. Even when she's floundering, she doen't run home to daddy to fix everything. There are lessons she needed to learn first. Her path isn't without missteps and wrong choices, but she never gives up. 

Near the end, I felt it was rushed. Then I realized, it was because I never wanted it to end. I love the writing style of Billie Letts and Fannie Flagg. Martha Reynolds has entered that category with this one. It might be my new favorite of her novels, and that says a lot.

Rating: 5 stars

I also loved Martha's Chocolate series. Please check out the reviews: Chocolate for BreakfastChocolate Fondue, and Bittersweet Chocolate.

About Martha Reynolds
(From Martha's Amazon Author Page) 

Real True Fiction.

Martha Reynolds is the author of the five novels, including the award-winning CHOCOLATE FOR BREAKFAST, its sequel, CHOCOLATE FONDUE, and the third and final book in the trilogy, BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, as well as BITS OF BROKEN GLASS and the newly-released BEST SELLER.

All books are available in digital and print versions.

Martha's essays and reflections have appeared in Magnificat magazine and the International Fund for Animal Welfare's blog.

She and her husband live in Rhode Island, never far from the ocean.

Read and follow the writings of Martha at
Follow her on Twitter @TheOtherMartha1
Like her Facebook author page at Martha Reynolds Writer

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own. 


Martha Reynolds said...

As an author, one of the greatest compliments an author can receive is that her writing has improved. Tia, you've been a loyal reader and a thoughtful, fair reviewer. I appreciate that very much.