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The Accidental Bestseller

Review

The Accidental Bestseller

When author Kendall Aims doesn’t win the writing award
she's set her heart on, her life starts falling apart. Her editor,
the heartless Jane, informs Kendall that she will publish one more
book with her publisher and then her career at their publishing
house will be finished, essentially ending Kendall’s career.
Next, Cal, Kendall's husband, tells her that their marriage is over
--- and when the young real estate agent shows up to put their
house on the market, Kendall realizes this person is Cal's new
girlfriend. Devastated, Kendall heads for a well-deserved pity
party at the mountain home she inherited from her grandmother.

Luckily, Kendall has the love and support of her three best
friends --- Mallory St. James, Faye Truett and Tanya Mason --- who
are also authors. Mallory is a bestselling workaholic. Faye, the
wife of a well-known religious personality, is a writer of
inspirational fiction. Single mom Tanya writes mainstream romances
while holding down two minimum-wage jobs. What Kendall doesn't know
about her friends is that Faye and Mallory each harbor deep secrets
that inform much of their personalities. Readers follow each of the
authors, as well as the story of Lacy, editorial assistant to
Kendall's mean and moody editor, Jane. Lacy has been handed the
responsibility of Kendall's next book, which is destined to be a
dud with an extremely limited print run, no publicity and a
recycled cover.

Kendall is so depressed that she can't even think about
beginning the book she must produce soon. When her friends rally
around her, it lifts her spirits but doesn't help her writer's
block. She procrastinates with compulsive house repair projects,
and sinks deeper into author lethargy…until Mallory, Faye and
Tanya come up with an amazing plan (as well as a brilliant premise
for THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER): They will write Kendall’s
book together. Each will write about a character similar to
herself, and the plot will be about four authors collaborating on a
book.

The three friends choose to ghostwrite their parts; Kendall will
be the supposed author of the whole project. Mallory and Faye have
secret reasons to keep their part in the project completely mum.
Even Tanya has a good legal reason not to let anyone know she's
involved. Anyway, no one is worried because Kendall’s book
has no publisher backing and will be published only to fade away
without fanfare, right? And, for that very reason, it doesn't
matter if some of the women's deep, dark, closely guarded secrets
are written into that book. However, as readers can deduce from the
title, sometimes things don't go according to plan. In the
meantime, in a clever and amusing ploy, the romance writer is
entangled in a possible romance; the inspirational writer longs for
redemption; and the bestselling author must come to terms with the
past that has actually caused her to become a bestselling
author.

THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER is enormously entertaining. The plot
is surprisingly unpredictable as we follow the lives of the
characters, experience the publishing business behind the scenes,
and wonder if there could be any way THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER,
like the novel in it, could actually be ghostwritten by Wendy Wax
plus three author friends (!). While the plot is filled to bursting
with subplots and characters (it was a total kick seeing a cameo
appearance by Bookreporter.com’s own Carol Fitzgerald), Wax
handles them with ease, threading stories together into a
compelling whole. She also manages to maintain and build suspense
to the end of the book --- and then wraps it up with a
well-executed, surprising and satisfying resolution.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001@yahoo.com) on December 22, 2010

The Accidental Bestseller
by Wendy Wax

  • Publication Date: June 2, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade
  • ISBN-10: 0425227677
  • ISBN-13: 9780425227671