Looking for a fun read, Jan and I stumbled upon Who Is Maud Dixon and from the write up, we were intrigued. It certainly was a bit out of our zone but after reading it, we were amazed at how this author brought all the elements together and made for a fun intriguing story.
Florence is adrift, not enjoying her life and envying the lives of others. She is a ship without ballast, tilting wherever the wind takes her, trying on and casting off different personalities as easily as trying on a pair of shoes. She has dreams of becoming a famous writer and is willing to do anything to shed her old life and get the life she wants and feels she deserves.
She is in NYC working in a low level job in the publishing industry when an opportunity arises to become assistant to Maud Dixon, a pseudonym for the reclusive author, Helen Wilcox. The only caveat is a strict NDA. No one knows who Maud really is, and she intends to keep it that way.
Florence sees this as her chance to be mentored by a celebrated author and the road to becoming a famous novelist herself. Things are going well, until the two go to Morocco for research on Maud’s new novel. There is an accident and what follows is a wild twisty ride that kept me furiously flipping the pages. Sure there were a few plot holes and coincidences but this was such an engaging, original read I didn’t care.
I loved that the first half of the book gave us an in-depth peek into Florence’s life and thought processes, which is the set up for the events that transpire in the second half. I do love a book that delves into the psychology of a character.
This is great fun, with sly satire and dark humor. A very fresh and original debut novel that I highly recommended!
· This was a buddy read with my friend Marialyce, and we both found it to be fresh new take in the genre that we enjoyed!
The word cautionary is not a part of Florence Darrow’s makeup. She makes rash decisions without thinking of the consequences and does what many of us would call foolish things. Florence is lonely, realizing her job is just a dull boring thing, not the glamorous fun filled work she pictured herself to have after “escaping” her over bearing mother and her small-town existence. One less than sober weeknight, Florence has a one-night stand with a high-level boss. She rushes ahead, becomes fixated on his wife and kids, (of course he is married) and winds up losing her job.
However, all is not lost as she interviews and is hired by an extremely reclusive author, Helen Wilcox, author of the amazingly successful Who Is Maud Dixon. It’s strange, sort of set up but hey, Florence is a tad strange herself, so off she goes into the glamour and notoriety she thinks will be hers one day. Soon after, off these two ladies go to Morocco, for research on Helen’s new book and tragedy happens as the car Helen is driving flies into the ocean.
Waking up in a hospital, pondering the situation, Florence sees an opportunity and seizes it, . . …and then things go off the rails and chaos ensues for Florence. Her plan seems to be thwarted at every turn and Florence take us what only can be described on a very wild ride on the Moroccan rails.
Jan and I had a lot of reading enjoyment from this gem, being somewhat surprised at both the events related and the way in which this new author kept us totally involved in the tumultuous goings on. Does Florence, survive her outing with the Moroccan police or does she succumb to the suspicion that she is the culprit in a serious crime? If you are a fan of intrigue, plotting, and subterfuge, this book might just might be your thing.
and here’ the author:
I’m a journalist-turned-copywriter-turned-novelist, with a brief stint as a graphic designer somewhere in there. I’ve lived in New York City for my entire life, except for the year and a half I spent in Paris writing Who Is Maud Dixon? I now live in Brooklyn with my husband and two children and am (theoretically) working on my second novel.