This book is: a story you can sink your teeth into.
Other elements: used books, a mean cat named Grendel, someone who reads as many historical romance novels as I do, all kinds of nerds, book clubs, a lady who is figuring out her life.
Read it: if you like hearing about smart, independent women (or if you are one). Bonus if you love used bookstores.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
You know how sometimes you like a character, sometimes you’re interested by a character, and other times you feel like a character is reaching out of the book and speaking to something inside of you? The latter is the experience I had with The Moment of Everything’s heroine, Maggie.
The unemployed Maggie starts out using the Dragonfly used bookstore as refuge from the pile of job applications she can’t make herself fill out. The more time she spends there, the more she’s drawn into the place’s weird little world. She starts reorganizing the romance section and ends up becoming increasingly involved: first as a paid employee, then as the Dragonfly’s PR strategist as she tries to get the attention of a potential employer.
When Maggie discovers an old copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover with two lovers’ correspondence in the margins, she’s utterly fascinated: these mystery lovers from long ago and the messages they left for each other in a book become the lynchpin on which she will shift the direction her life is taking. A sudden encounter with a mysterious, alluring man doesn’t hurt, either.
True story: one of the first things we learn about Maggie is that, since being “involuntarily separated from payroll” at work, she’s been spending all of her time sitting in an armchair at the Dragonfly reading historical romance novels. I’ve had The Moment of Everything on my Kindle for weeks, but I’d been putting off reading it because I’ve been too into historical romance novels to read anything else. At one point, Maggie specifically mentions reading A Duke of Her Own, which I actually still have out from the library because I was reading it so recently. Too funny.
The Moment of Everything talks a lot about love of different kinds and it does have some pulse-quickening romantic scenes in the Dragonfly’s stacks, but don’t write it off as chick lit: it’s much more than that. It’s the story of Maggie learning who she is, what she wants, and figuring out what she wants to do about it. It’s beautiful, relatable, and utterly enjoyable.
My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy of The Moment of Everything.