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Park Row
ISBN: 978-0778334200
September 5, 2023
Contemporary Fiction

Nice, France – Present Day

Poppy Banks is living a ho-hum life working at a job she hates. She’d rather be writing mysteries but gave that up after her older brother Jackson signed a lucrative contract for his books and her belief in herself fell flatter than a pancake. Her family celebrates his successes while her dreams are considered impractical. Her mother keeps harping at Poppy to get married and churn out babies, but with no man in sight, this is not what she wants in life. She ends up in a big fight with her mother. But one day, Poppy’s life changes. First, she learns that her Aunt Margot died, a woman whom her mother hated but Poppy managed to meet secretly once a year. Then, Poppy learns that she has been left a legacy by Margot, though there are certain conditions she must meet before she can actually inherit. 

Arriving in Nice, France, she is picked up by two men, Oliver and his uncle, Sebastian. Oliver seems angry at Poppy when they first meet, which puzzles her. Arriving at where she will be staying, she is stunned to learn that her aunt owned a beautiful oceanfront mansion. It could be Poppy’s, but she must fulfill the terms of her aunt’s will. Margot had established a writing residency program at the mansion where women come to write a novel and encourage each other. Poppy must live at the mansion for six months and write alongside other women as they complete their first novel. If Poppy completes her manuscript by the end of six months, then she inherits the mansion. 

Needless to say, Poppy is overwhelmed by what she is going through in MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY. When she was younger, she did write but after her brother’s success, her self-esteem took a hit, especially with her mother telling her that didn’t have the talent to write…but her brother did. It has led Poppy to resent her brother and argue with her mother. At the beginning of this tale, she has had enough. She quits her job and has a big fight with her mother. The letter telling her to come to Nice is a chance for her to get away and think. To her surprise, it is much more. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I did figure out the big secret that is revealed at the end of MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY.

Oliver starts out as a bit of an adversary for Poppy. He knew Margot and didn’t think Poppy would have the courage to continue her aunt’s legacy at the writing residency. But Poppy agrees to the plan, though she is tempted by a couple of outsiders to sell when she has possession of the title to the mansion. She is introduced to the new participants and starts to write. At first, things go well, and she begins to think she will indeed finish her novel. Poppy even becomes friends with Oliver. The months go by, and a feeling of contentment grows, as does a relationship with Oliver.  But despite this, her teetering self-esteem comes back to give her doubts. Readers will have to read MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY to discover what happens to our poor Poppy. 

MAIN CHARACTER ENERGY pulls you into the story because Poppy is a person one can relate to. Haven’t you ever wanted to do something, but fear of rejection holds you back? She has to overcome her doubts and her journey is an incredible one for readers to watch. Poppy thought she couldn’t reach for her dreams, but she just might prove herself wrong as she becomes the main character of her life.

Patti Fischer

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