I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: the publisher
1958, New York City. Cliff Nelson, a Columbia dropout, is the son of a prominent book editor. He strives to make a name in the publishing industry, yet is unable to make his name known despite his father's standings. Eden Katz aspires to be a book editor. She must start at the bottom rung, serving as secretary to get her feet in the door. Despite her dedication, she faces frequent roadblocks, shunned by her gender and religion. Miles Tillman, an African-American, grew up in Harlem. His father passed away years ago, but Miles is certain that tracking down his father's journal will give him answers.
These three individuals, though vastly different, share one common goal: a successful and prominent position in the book industry. Fate brings them together, determining their success and failures. In time, they each learn what they must sacrifice in order to succeed in such a competitive and unrelenting industry.
When I heard of this novels pending release, I squealed with delight. I’m still talking about Rindell’s previous novel, The Other Typist. My adoration of that novel, and the premise of this one, made it a given that I’d start reading this title as soon as it hit my hands.
I thoroughly enjoyed each characters narrative. Each determined, at various levels of severity, to make themselves known in the publishing industry. Certainly, I felt most connected to Eden. Naive at first, shocked at the challenges she faced in her path to success, she quickly recovered and transformed into a new, headstrong and determined young woman. The book publishing world at this time was a man’s world and Eden had to perform better than her peers in order to get ahead. Her character evoked the most sympathy in me, for she had to relinquish so much of her happiness in order to succeed.
To me, Miles’ character is the one with the most layers. The man of his house after his father’s passing, he puts his life on hold to uncover mysteries about his father’s past. He travels across the country to San Francisco in hopes of uncovering his father’s journal. In doing so, he reveals things about himself that he’d kept buried, including regarding his sexuality.
Cliff’s character is the one I despised. Hoping to ride on his father’s coattails into the publishing industry, rather than through hard work and dedication, there’s not much that I liked about this man. Selfish, set on seeking his own happiness and success, it didn’t matter to him who he trampled on his way. That said, his actions directly influenced the path the other two characters took, his destructive behavior serving as stepping stones and encouragement to their success.
While this novel wasn’t nearly as shocking as her previous, to me it had more depth of character. I felt more of an emotional response, though varied, to each of the characters. That this novel quickly transforms from a light, easy go lucky book about three young adult in New York to a truly cutthroat and competitive saga of the publishing world quite accurately describes the experiences each character experienced in their journey. A truly addictive and revealing character study, this novel is certainly one of my favorites read this year. Highly, highly recommended.