Modern American literature isn’t always a favourite of mine. There is such a difference in tone between a European author writing on a subject and that of their American counterpart. I’m very pleased to say that Rowley has crafted a modern American novel of significance with a pathos and circumspection that is so often missing in the books of his peers. The Editor is a book that made me laugh, it made me think and then ultimately made me cry.
James Smale has been a struggling author in 1990’s New York. Deciding to write about something that he knows, James has put together the bones of a book about his Catholic mother and his agent has managed to sell the idea to a publishing house.
When James is introduced to his new Editor he is shocked to discover that it is none other than Jackie Kennedy Onassis or Mrs Onassis as she is known in the office. This book explores James’s relationship with his Editor as she pushes him to complete his debut novel about his dysfunctional family.
Beautifully observed, the story follows the struggles that James has in coming to terms with the truth about his mother and their family and then the battle to retain a relationship with her after he has aired all of the family’s dirty laundry in public.
Ultimately this is a story about relationships, both the forbidden trysts and the sanctioned and familiar bonds of love and family. Of acceptance and support; fear and loneliness. The Editor is a modern tale that will not fail to affect you.
Although this is a work of fiction it is also a very respectful homage to a former First Lady and one of the most prominent figures in twentieth century America.
Supplied by Net Galley and The Borough Press in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: Apr 4 2019. 320 pages.