Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander
Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars
I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander, just released.
“Does every book need a happy ending? No, but every book needs resolution.”
When an editing pen has the power not only to change stories but also to change lives.
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.
Protagonist Emily Bryant moved to New York to finally start her new career as an editor and she’s about to pitch her first book when she is informed her grandmother died and left her The Ballad, a mansion in Cascata. How rude!
She would love to just sell the thing, but no, Emily must edit a pile of “Forsaken” manuscripts and cannot legally do anything with it until she has, but sharing the news with her father, his advice is to dump it and proceed with her new job. Her father and his extended family have been estranged since the death of her mother. She felt abandoned by them but has nagging questions she’d like answered—and her father won’t.
First, the Lost Coast of California is intense and volatile and a sunny warm day can turn quickly. Except for Highway 1 (which doesn’t extend the length of the Lost Coast), the area is isolated and stretches from Humboldt to Mendocino Counties. The weather is unpredictable, but…it’s the coast. The Victorian mansion is not only tied to her grandmother’s will demands but to regulations for registered Victorians. She’ll have to go to Cascata.
Grandma Gertrude apparently had a business as an editor working out of a room of the mansion, something that surprised Emily, who had grown up with a deep-seated love of books. It was her theory, fostered by her grandmother, that if she didn’t like an end to one of the classics she was reading as a child, she could rewrite a better one. A fun thing that took flight with her imagination and she took to rewriting conclusions often and has since.
So after the enthusiastic greeting of most of the family, she is more intrigued than ever at what might have created the rift between her grandmother and her father.
After discovering and rewriting the ending of the first “Forsaken” manuscript, she is astounded later to watch it play out in real life. She continues to wrestle with herself over the conundrum of the family that appears to be happy she’s back with the picture painted by her father.
In the meantime, the reader is introduced to the charming atmospheric little coastal town and its inhabitants, the redwoods and palms (which really threw me as I didn’t remember palm trees around Ft Bragg and Westport where we camped for years when hubby was still diving for abalone).
Emily’s constant angst juxtaposing her New York position with that of her ability in Cascata got a bit taxing, as well as her still unanswered feelings of abandonment, but these were offset by getting to know the amazing characters, including her cousin Shay, who totally understood what was happening to Emily with her rewrites. So many authors noted, classics, books I’ve read, including the more recent The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel (Pie) Society by Anne Barrows (also a beautiful Netflix movie).
A heartfelt and thoughtful novel of family, grief, redemption, friendship, and connection.
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour. My thanks to the author and to Shalini at Digital Reads Media for the complimentary review copy and the opportunity to read and review this delightful new release. Immersive and entertaining. These are my unbiased thoughts and heartily recommended.
Genre: Magical Realism, #Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Sweet Lemon Press LLC
Print Length: 298 pages
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Source: Author and Digital Reads Media
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The Author: ELLIE ALEXANDER is a Pacific Northwest native, a voracious storyteller, and a lover of words and all things bookish. She believes that stories have the ability to transport and transform us. With over twenty-six published novels and counting, her goal is to tell stories that provide points of connection, escape, and understanding.
She loves inhabiting someone else’s skin through the pages of a book and is passionate about helping writers find their unique storytelling lens. As a writing teacher and coach, she guides writers in crafting the story they’ve always wanted to tell while navigating the path to publication that’s right for them.
Find out more about Ellie, her books, and writing courses by visiting her online:
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