The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

My first book of the year was also one of my 12 books from 12 friends challenge books.  I had received a copy in a giveaway, so decided that it was the perfect way to start the year--The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick, recommended by my friend Brenda Jo.

About the Book:

Have you ever wished you were someone else?

Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can't believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.

But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie's final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie's shoes, and as Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women--one that will change Liv's own story forever...

My Thoughts:

I love a book that I read in one day because I just can't put it down, and I love starting my new year with a book.

Messy Lives was just the ticket for an enjoyable contemporary fiction read.  I especially liked watching Liv's character develop, from seeing herself as the housekeeper to Essie's confidant to developing her own persona as a writer.  The challenge to finish Essie's novel really resonates with Liv and allows her the protected opportunity to try out her dreams.  As a self-appointed expert in Georgia Rory (Essie's main character), Liv adores the chance to finish the novel the way she hopes the series will go.  But throughout her riding, she beings to realize that there is much more to Essie's own story and begins to put the pieces together, leading to a deeper understanding of Georgia, Essie, and herself.