For every reader who has found themselves transported to magical places through the pages of a book and in the process discovered who they were always meant to be.
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.
Many years ago, I read several mystery books by an author called Phyllis A Whitney. Each book took me to a different part of the US and descriptions of the area made me want to visit. Lost Coast Literary had the same effect. Ellie Alexander has introduced me to the beautiful area of the Lost Coast, and I would love to sit down in a welcoming coffee shop in the vibrant, colourful town of Cascata where this story is set.
Emily Bryant has arrived there to claim her inheritance after the death of a grandmother she dimly remembers. Having left the town when she was only 8 years old, she felt her relations had no interest in her, especially as none of them came to her mother’s funeral. Emily has had to leave her budding editing career in New York, but she is tantalised by the task that her grandmother has left for her. She must edit a stack of abandoned manuscripts. As a girl who often wrote alternative happy endings to classic books the task is perfect for her. Working in Grandma’s book-filled Victorian mansion, she remembers how much they had in common. She becomes close to her cousin Shay and gets to know the community well. And it here that a paranormal theme emerges. The lost manuscripts parallel life in the town and Emily’s endings start to come true in catastrophic ways.
This is a feel-good novel, but nothing comes easily. Emily has to solve real problems, including her own, and decide what she wants from life, with a little help from magical realism. If you are a book enthusiast, you will love Emily’s references to her favourites by authors such as Jane Austen, Dodie Smith and Ursula Le Guin, and you might long, like me, to attend a literary party at Grandma’s house.
Lost Coast Literary on Amazon UK
I was given a copy of this book as a member of Rosie’s Book Review team. https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/