Oh, did you know Ellie Alexander has a new book out? No, not a new Sloan Krause mystery, a women’s fiction novel! Okay, she doesn’t steer too far from the craft beer. There is a cafe serving up some mouth-watering, amazingly described lager!
Book editor Emily Bryant finds herself unexpectedly in the charming town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast, holding the keys to her grandmother’s rambling Victorian mansion. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Emily learns that she must edit old manuscripts to inherit the estate. It’s a strange request from a family member who was basically a stranger.
Emily quickly realizes that there’s something different about these manuscripts. Any changes she makes come true. At first, she embraces the gift. She has a chance to help characters find true love or chart a new course for their future. But then things go terribly wrong. Her edits have the opposite effect. The sweet and funky seaside community of Cascata is reeling from the chaos Emily has created. Everything she thought she believed about her family and her past is in jeopardy, and no amount of editing can fix the damage she’s done.
Then she finds one last manuscript. If Emily can get this edit right, maybe she’ll have a chance to create a new narrative for herself and everyone around her.
Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/3ueEmMB
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3L6H8ul
Order direct: https://elliealexander.co/lost-coast-literary
I was intrigued by the premise of this story but let me tell you what line completely hooked me.
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Isabel Allende’s Zorro and Joanne Harris’s Chocolat showed me that Gertrude had been a modern reader too, drawn to books with mystical elements set in faraway lands.
Any story that can include three of my favorite books in the first quarter, wins my vote!
And in the opening chapter, we find this gem…
I refused to accept that books, even the most revered literary works, couldn’t be altered and improved upon.
Anyone had a problem with what happened to Beth in Little Women? Well, Emily certainly did too!
Cute quotes aside, Emily is a delightful heroine. She’s not had an easy life. It’s been her and her father against the whole world. Why that’s been so was always a mystery and one she sets out to uncover over the course of this novel.
Admittedly, I kind of figured out why Emily’s father had the big falling out with grandma Gertrude before the big reveal. However, I was not prepared for the emotional punch it packed as we see even more of what was happening ‘behind the scenes’ during Emily’s life.
Relationships across the family are explored and brought to the front as the novel progresses. I loved how easily Emily and cousin Shay fall into friendship. That is balanced brilliantly by Arty’s understandable hostility.
In terms of the stories that come true, they are an eclectic bunch. Each one covers a different issue. We have racism, fading love, and ethical dilemmas. The stories aren’t necessarily all tied up tightly by the end. That’s would be difficult as they affect very ‘real’ people who aren’t the stars of this story. However, we do get the satisfaction of some closure to their problems.
Overall, I think Lost Coast Literary is a charming novel that can be described as contemporary magical realism. Although, however you describe it, just know it’s a must read for any bibliophile!
And I so wish The Ballad was a real place. I’d book a retreat there in a heartbeat!!
I give this book 4.5/5 espresso shots.
About the Author
Ellie Alexander is a voracious storyteller and a lover of words and all things bookish. She believes that stories have the ability to transport and transform us. With over twenty-six published novels and counting, her goal is to tell stories that provide points of connection, escape, and understanding.
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Blog Tour organised by Digital Reads.