I chose to read and review Lost Coast Literary for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team, my thanks for the copy kindly supplied by the author, Ellie Alexander.
Emily Bryant is living in a cramped apartment she shares with her roommates in New York as she begins her career in publishing. She’s gearing up to pitch for a book she desperately wants and which will be her first editorial project when she receives a text from her uncle. He’s contacting her to let her know her grandma has passed away. She, Emily, has been left the grand house that her grandmother loved. Emily needs to go to Cascata, on the Lost Coast of California immediately.
It had been over twenty years since Emily had been in Cascata due to a family falling out, the origins of which Emily had no memory. But apparently she needed to be there in person because there are specific requirements involving editing manuscripts that have to be met in order for her to inherit.
Crap. I let out a long sigh, barely noticing the overhead speaker announcing my stop. I gathered my things and held on while the train slowed.
Why now? This was a plot twist I would have loved in fiction. Not in real life.
I didn’t have time to stress about this. This pitch meeting could mean the difference between being stuck writing reader’s reports and rejection letters for another year or working on my own book for the first time.
Emily had never understood why her father had ended his relationship with their family after the death of her mother, so consequently she hadn’t seen her grandmother since she was a child. She’s puzzled by her inheritance and even more so by the stipulations of the will. No-one in Cascata will explain the reason for the estrangement although they are mostly all happy to see Emily. Her father also refuses to elaborate. Emily and her cousin, Shay, strike up a friendship immediately. It’s to Shay that Emily turns when weird things begin to happen as she begins to fulfil the conditions of the will.
I loved this setting, the house and the pretty town, and although the town itself is fiction, there is a region called the Lost Coast in California. I enjoyed the well defined characters, loved the fact the story has a thread of magical realism and of course the literary theme. I haven’t read anything by this author before and didn’t know what to expect, but I found the story captivating and enjoyed the way it played out.
Author: Ellie Alexander
Published: March 2022 by Sweet Lemon Press
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
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.