Book Review: THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING by Shelly King

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Released: September 2, 2014
Source: Review copy through NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★½

In the tradition of The Cookbook Collector comes a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.

Maggie Duprès, recently “involuntarily separated from payroll” at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly’s Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.

When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance — even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a book she hasn’t encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin Classics Chatterley — it’s an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.

Witty and sharp-eyed in its treatment of tech world excesses, but with real warmth at its core, The Moment of Everything is a wonderful read.

I adore stories about books, bookstores, and the readers who love them, and THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING was a book lover’s dream. The main character Maggie spends her days of unemployment lolling around a tumbledown used bookshop called The Dragonfly. The store was described as piles and piles of disorganized books and a cash register, and the charming and quirky owner, Hugo, doesn’t mind that he can’t turn a profit. There’s an even quirkier cat called Grendel that spends his time roaming the stacks and occasionally attacking Maggie.

At the heart of the story is an old tattered copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover that Hugo gives Maggie for a last-minute book club invitation. Written in the margins of the book are these amazing, emotionally raw love notes between two people – Catherine and Henry. She becomes fixated with the notes and finding out what became of the writers.

Maggie was such a likable, relatable character. She was funny and compassionate, yet she also keep her heart well guarded, and I’m not sure she even realized that at first. The Dragonfly’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover turns out to be more than just a way to impress the bigwigs of a Silicon Valley book club and help her network. The handwritten love notes make a huge impact on her life and open her eyes to what’s really important.

THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING was a fantastic book, and I loved being a part of The Dragonfly’s world. I enjoyed the author’s witty and engaging writing style, and I was grinning at the pop culture references she included. I’d highly recommend this book to fans of bittersweet, moving, and romantic tales. Loved it!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.