Book Review Wednesday: The Editor

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It's just past midnight on a Thursday night and I finished my latest read... "The Editor". I requested to read this book before it was published from Net Galley and it took me months to read it. I'm not sure why and I wish I would've read it sooner.

When I downloaded it onto my Kindle app I had already forgotten why I wanted to read it in the first place. Because it was a fictional story about my favorite woman in history, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

"After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie--or Mrs. Onassis, as she's known in the office--has fallen in love with James's candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book's forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can't bring himself to finish the manuscript. 

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page... "





I had completely forgotten that is what the book was about until I got to the 2nd chapter and saw that the Editor was none other than the most famous First Lady in history. 

From that moment on I was completely enthralled with this novel and just so invested in the outcome, the story, and the characters. James is a gay man in 1992, living with his boyfriend in New York City who has just written a book about his complicated mother. 

Throughout the book, you are taken on a wild ride of discovery, family, secrets, lies, and just a little bit of history. It is so interesting to see another side of Jackie O, the Editor in her and how she had taken New York by storm in the early nineties. 

That was another thing about the book... the time period. It was so present while reading; mentions of clunky televisions, newspapers, and the golden era of publishing. The New York hoopla around Jacqueline Kennedy was like another character in the book and it just made me hungry for that time period again.

James and Jacqueline discuss politics only once or twice throughout the book but you are constantly wanting more from the fictional Mrs. Kennedy. We see talk of the future President Clinton and the scandals that followed him before he was even the presidential nominee. It was just so interesting... so interesting to read a story that took place just as I was being born but one that I so desperately love.

My obsession/passion for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis comes from the same place that my love of Princess Diana does; my mother and my aunt. Both were simply infatuated with Jackie O, my aunt still has a Barbie Doll in the original packaging of Jackie. When Jacqueline died in 1994, my mother told me my aunt took off of work and didn't get out of bed for days.

I did many book reports on her, have read a few biographies and am just extremely interested in the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 

That's why this book was so perfect for me... and it was about a writer, something I so desperately want to classify myself as.

"The Editor" takes you on a journey of James writing his first book that just so happens to be about a complicated familial relationship. Jackie pushes him to go deeper, to find out more about the relationship and to come to terms with it. Through this, we find out a few secrets and discover a lot about James' family. There were definitely a few times when I gasped, not seeing the plot twist from a mile away.

The book was written fast... like I could hear and feel the urgency in every word but it delighted me so much. In a weird way it reminded me of the 90s, like how fast Carrie Bradshaw talks in "Sex and the City" or the way Fran Fine moves from story to story in "The Nanny." There was just something so familiar about the writing that it felt comforting.

"The Editor" went on sale in early April so you can purchase it now and I really do recommend it. I haven't felt this passionate about a book, especially a non domestic thriller novel, in a while. This book moved something in me that I immediately had to pick up my laptop and write this blog post so I didn't lose the feeling.

If you love history, if you love the 90s as a decade, if you love Jacqueline Kennedy, and if you love books, this is something that I hope will move you the way it moved me.

xoxo
B

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