The Moment of Everything by Shelly King
ISBN: 9781455546794 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781455546787 (ebook)
Publication date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.
Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.
When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance – even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley – it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.
Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.
Maggie Duprès is a thirty-something wondering what to do with her life. Although she has a degree in English and Library Science, she doesn’t really want to work in a library. She’s spent the past ten years working for a tech company ensuring the tech-speak is understood by the common man. Now her company has been downsized and she’s at loose ends. Until she finds that perfect job, she spends her days at a local bookstore. Little does she know that her days are soon to be filled with thoughts of books, promoting books, and promoting this quaint, local institution.
After Maggie is invited to join a local book club, she is given a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by the owner of the used bookstore, The Dragonfly’s Used Books. She is immediately intrigued by a series of notes left in the book between two would-be lovers. Maggie’s intrigue quickly becomes the impetus for promoting The Dragonfly on a website. She posts bits of these notes online in her search for these lovers. This online post quickly puts The Dragonfly in the spotlight and provides Maggie with a job. In between her duties at The Dragonfly, Maggie quickly becomes involved in an almost-maybe-not-quite romance with a lovely young man, Rahjit. Maggie’s co-worker, Jason is antagonistic toward her at first but the two become friends in the end.
I enjoyed Maggie’s quest for the truth about the notes in the book. I especially enjoyed reading about her interactions with the owner of The Dragonfly – Hugo, as well as the store’s strange and wonderful customers: Gloria with her NPR tote bag filled with romance novels, the CIA Bathroom trio, and more. The Moment of Everything is filled with love lost, love gained, despair, grief, joy, and more. Maggie’s search for a job is also a search to find meaning in her life. Her relationship with her mother is quixotic at best, but one she realizes is not as bad as she thinks. Maggie’s best friend, Dizzy, is one she’s known most of her life and the reason she relocated from the East to the West. But can she spend the rest of her life following Dizzy from company-to-company and state-to-state? I found all of the characters to be wonderfully strange yet wholly realistic. There’s great romance in this book, but at the heart of it is simply one woman’s search for meaning in her life and she finds it in a bookstore, one particular book, and through a diverse group of friends and family. This was a book that I enjoyed reading and will probably reread in the future (yes, I enjoyed it that much). If you’re looking for an adult coming-of-age style story to read or just for something a little different, then I suggest you grab a copy of The Moment of Everything.
Watch the following videos based on snippets from The Moment of Everything
“The secret sketchbook of Betty Valentine”
“Cassie’s Pen Pals”
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Available from: BookDepository | Alibris
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