Introverted Nina Hill, the only child of a single mother, is pulled—both kicking and screaming and passive-aggressively resisting—into a new family and a new relationship.
Nina likes “pinning things down,” being prepared in advance, and making a daily schedule. After working in the bookstore, she goes home to her cat, Phil, where she reads and bones up for her next trivia contest. Her static, well-regulated life is turned upside down when a lawyer contacts her with news about her father, though her mother had always claimed not to know who he was. Turns out he was wealthy, and he's left her something in his will. At the lawyer’s office, she meets the rest of the family, her half-aunts, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, some welcoming and others decidedly not. Nina wants no part of this family. Who cares what her father might have left her? No thanks! And then another intrusion appears in the form of a handsome man, captain of a rival trivia team. He’s too showy for Nina, and besides, he knows all the sports category answers, so she pegs him as a nonreader, a big turnoff. Nina wants only to be left alone. But Nina is not all rules and solitude. She has a spark, an imagination, and a sense of humor that make you want to sit with her and observe people over a cappuccino and pastry...while making wisecracks. She of course grows and opens her life to new experiences—her new family and, maybe, the trivia guy. Waxman (Other People's Houses, 2018, etc.) skillfully shows Nina's changing mindset in the hilarious schedules, complete with meal plans and shopping lists, she makes each day. If you love writing plans and sticking to them, you’ll love Nina Hill. If you roll your eyes at people who make daily schedules, you’ll love Nina Hill, too.
Waxman has created a thoroughly engaging character in this bookish, contemplative, set-in-her-ways woman. Be prepared to chuckle.