A Silicon Valley woman’s life is unexpectedly turned around by her love of books in this debut novel.
“Books don’t change people’s lives, not like everyone thinks they do,” Maggie Duprés states at the beginning of this book. In a way, she protests too much. Maggie got her master’s in library science in South Carolina before high-tailing it to Silicon Valley with her best friend, Dizzy. Back home, Maggie’s bookishness and Dizzy’s homosexuality marked them as outsiders, but in Silicon Valley, they find success in the tech world, flying high until Maggie’s job is outsourced to India. Hurt and unemployed, she turns to her guilty pleasure, romance novels, which she reads at Dragonfly Used Books alongside Hugo, her landlord and the Dragonfly’s owner. When Dizzy invites Maggie to a book club of high-profile businesswomen, the meeting and the book—Lady Chatterly’s Lover—mark a turning point. To impress Avi Narayan, the book club’s founder, Maggie revamps the Dragonfly’s sleepy sales model, infusing it with good business sense, good book sense and a boost from her copy of Lady Chatterly: love notes written between two unknown people in the margins. Maggie scans and posts the notes on social media, they go viral, and their mystery and passion begin to haunt Maggie. As the business takes off and a sultry love interest grabs her attention, Maggie must grapple with where she belongs. King packs many more twists and turns into this breezy novel, and Maggie’s guardedness and flippancy make an enjoyable counterpoint to the unabashed community of misfits she discovers at the Dragonfly.
This diverting read probably won’t change anyone’s life, but then again, books never do. Or do they?