The Book of Essie: A novel

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Meghan MacLean Weir imagines a behind-the-scenes look into a reality tv scandal in her entrancing debut novel. Six for Hicks is a wildly popular reality show that stars members of the Hicks family, including a preacher father, his image-obsessed wife, a politician son, an estranged daughter, and of course Essie, the seemingly compliant daughter. When Essie becomes pregnant, her mother, concerned solely about optics, devises a plan that will have her daughter married within a month, in hopes to convince the public that the baby was not conceived in sin. In hopes to break free of her tv life and to expose her devastating truth, Essie relies on her soon-to-be-husband, Roarke, and a trusted reporter, Liberty, to bring her grand plan to fruition.

Weir’s story alone, which is perfectly paced and compulsively readable, makes The Book of Essie worthy of attention. However, while telling the story through alternating perspectives from the book’s three protagonists — Essie, Roarke, and Liberty — Weir fails to make each voice distinct from the others. Yet Essie and Roarke’s sincere friendship shines in what would otherwise be a depressing book. With a bold and wonderfully manipulative female lead, a horrifyingly dysfunctional family, and an unrelenting tension, The Book of Essie does not disappoint.

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Author Meghan MacLean Weir
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9780525520313
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Modern Literature


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