They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but of course that's not true, as we all can and do judge books by their covers all the time. I will read just about any book with teacups or teapots on the cover. A few years ago I read this one, I want to read this one soon, and I just finished reading the one above, "The Rejected Writers' Book Club" by Suzanne Kelman. I found this book on NetGalley, a service which allows authors and publishers to share their books with reviewers, bloggers, journalists, librarians, and others who get to read them for free and, hopefully, share reviews of them with others.
Our narrator is librarian Janet Johnson of Southlea Bay, Washington, a small "village" where some eccentric women writers, the Rejected Writers' Book Club, routinely gather to share tea and cake—and their rejection letters. Rejection has become a way of life for these women, and alas, one of them, Doris, threatens to destroy the harmony of the group when she receives an acceptance letter for her book about Jane Austen, who "was abducted by aliens, time travels, and then goes back to the eighteenth century with a dishwasher." If that sounds farcical, well, it is, but as long as you accept the slapstick nature of the plot, and I did, this is quite an enjoyable romp.
Janet has an adult daughter in San Francisco who is having problems with her pregnancy. When word gets out that Janet is headed there to visit her daughter, Doris and some of the other women decide they'll hitch a ride south with her so they can visit the San Francisco publisher who mistakenly, they believe, accepted Doris's book. They're going to barge right in and demand that the manuscript be rejected instead. Along the way, it comes to light that some personal secrets of someone very close to Doris may have inadvertently been revealed in the book, and she feels time is of the essence in getting her manuscript back before it makes its way into print.
Although the book is set in Washington, I noticed early on that the author uses some terms such as "village" for "town" and "holiday" for "vacation," so I found myself stopping to see if she was British, and I learned she was born in Scotland and raised in the UK, thus her terminology. Once I got past that slight adjustment, I was able to read the story with ease, and I was quite entertained by the adventures of the laid-back librarian and her oddball friends. Some of the characters they meet on their road trip to San Francisco are simply delightful, and I found myself smiling at more than a few points along the way. I think some of you might enjoy this book as well, and I do hope there will be more tales involving the rejected writers of Southlea Bay.