Must Love Books breaks the mold. It’s not exactly a rom-com, though it has some great comedic moments. It’s a romance, but the love story isn’t the whole story. It’s a coming of age story and a coming to grips story. And author Shauna Robinson weaves it all together in this stunning debut.
Nora Hughes thought she’d found the path to her dream job in publishing. Start in an entry level position at a publishing firm and work her way to the bookish life she’d always imagined. Unfortunately, the path to that dream has fizzled out and Nora has spent years working hard without seeing a payoff for the fruits of her labor.
Tired and overworked, with a bank account that reflects her exhaustion, she takes on a second job at a rival company to make up the extra income. Nora meets Andrew Santos, her company’s top author, and discovers that they have a connection that’s deeper than she ever could have imagined. It turns out that the rival publisher would also like to meet with Andrew, which puts Nora in a challenging situation.
Figuring out how to navigate the landmines in this crazy professional and emotional battlefield is a full time job in itself, and the answers aren’t always easy.
Robinson is a former publishing professional, drawing upon her own experience to highlight the harsh realities of being a lower level employee for a publishing house. While being involved in the book industry puts book lovers closer to the books, it also proves to be draining and soul-searing.
I have to admit that I always dreamed of working in publishing, and while I want to believe that the job inhabits a world of utopian, Hallmark Channel values, I also see how there are certain truths that must be acknowledged; publishing is a challenging job because books are in the middle of an evolution and everything – everything – rests on the bottom line. Even the dream job has to keep the bottom line in mind.
Must Love Books is easy to fall into and enjoy. You’ll find yourself nodding in agreement with Nora’s predicaments, from calculating her income after a company-wide pay cut (I’ve been there!) to trying to be in two places at once after she starts working for the rival publisher.
Perfect for any occasion, be it nighttime reading to the book you pack on vacation, Must Love Books is a great read from an exciting debut author.