I love looking at a cover before turning to the first page. Do you see the two profiles made from that one line? It's a perfect representation of what you'll find inside.
From Little Brown and Company: "Florence Darrow is a low-level publishing employee who believes that she's destined to be a famous writer. When she stumbles into a job the assistant to the brilliant, enigmatic novelist known as Maud Dixon — whose true identity is a secret — it appears that the universe is finally providing Florence’s big chance." Uh huh, lots of ways this story could unfurl.....
For me, Florence was an unlikable lead - and was perfect for Andrews' tale. Florence seems to have something missing, an emptiness in her that she can never seem to fill. The book is told from her perspective, her thoughts and her actions. Which were more than a little disturbing.
"When she looked into the future, she saw herself at a beautiful next to a window, typing her next great book. She could never quite see the words on the screen, but she knew they were brilliant and would prove once and for all that she was special. Everyone would know the name Florence Darrow."
But, she's not the only unlikeable character - the author known as Maud Dixon is mercurial, eccentric and manipulative. She decides that the two of them need to travel to Morocco for research purposes. I loved the setting - Andrews does a great job of bringing it to life - the heat, the noise, the markets and more. Here we do meet some supporting players - and a few of them I did like, including Officer Idrissi. Oh yes, there is a police officer involved - but is there a crime? Andrews keeps the reader guessing as the story takes a different direction more than once, with some great twists. I appreciate not being able to predict a story.
Andrews herself has worked in the publishing industry and that insider knowledge adds to the atmosphere of the book. Her writing grabs you and hangs on tight. An excellent cat and mouse, mouse and cat plot, one I thoroughly enjoyed.
This was a fantastic debut novel for Andrews. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Who Is Maud Dixon? And I can see this one on the big screen as well.