Just the Facts Blog Tour and Review
My latest read was Just the Facts by Ellen Sherman. I’ve been taking a break from book reviews but I couldn’t pass this one up because it involved Maryland. So of course that peaked my interest. I took the book with me on my latest trip out to L.A. and I had finished reading it before I landed. It’s quite a page turner and I think even more so for me because it was based in a state that I live in. The book follows Nora Plowright—a fresh college graduate, and rookie reporter—as she uncovers a high-profile government scandal. But meeting one shady character after another only fuels Nora’s appetite for danger, and makes it more difficult to keep the facts straight.
Just the Facts will be released in bookstores on September 8th, 2015 by She Writes Press. I received an advanced reader copy for review purposes. Any opinions expressed are my own.
About the Book:
When English major Nora Plowright finds herself staring at college graduation as if at the edge of a cliff, she decides to become a newspaper reporter–and right away, she manages to get a job at a local paper (which you could still do in 1978). Although fearful by nature, Nora pursues a tip from a stranger and soon is investigating corruption at the Maryland State Highway Authority regarding the controversial placement of a new freeway. The developing scandal, with its shady “players,” tests both her budding reportorial skills and her appetite for danger. Also, her passion for storytelling makes it increasingly difficult for her to stick to the facts.
Humorous and poignant, Just the Facts is a coming-of-age novel about finding one’s way in the real world that will resonate with anyone who has struggled with figuring out what to do when she or he grows up.
This book starts off with a bang, literally. Almost immediately Nora is thrown into the big pond and you can tell she’s a little green around the edges. I loved reading along and seeing how she developed and grew over the course of the novel. It was definitely a page turner for me and that’s not just because I was flying. I really got into the scandal and intrigue in this book. It made me wonder a lot about the politics in my home state. I wondered how much of it was true and how much of it was made up for the book. Sherman did an excellent job at adding in elements from the state of Maryland, including popular places, familiar cities and spent a lot of time focusing on the state capital Annapolis.
If you’ve ever wondered how things worked at a newspaper, the novel does give you a unique perspective into how it works. Overall it was great. My one thing I did notice it seemed that the main character Nora was never fully vested in her job working at this small newspaper and as the novel progressed I hoped that would change as she became more familiar with the work but it only became more clear that she just didn’t want to be there. It really reminded me of my sister, or made me be able to relate to her in some ways. It also made me not like her at times because it seems she felt she was too good to be working at the paper.
I felt invested in these characters. I was cheering for Nora in her first big relationships and when it didn’t work out I felt sad for her. When it seemed like she was moving on I felt happy for her and when she broke her big story I wanted to celebrate with her. Just the Facts is a great read to enjoy on your own or with your book club. Be sure to check it out when it releases in September.
Meet the Author:
Ellen Sherman received her MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, and has worked as a journalist, editor, and teacher. She also has worked as a proofreader, tutor, Girl Scout cookie counter, and training coordinator for literacy volunteers—all afternoon positions so that she could write in the mornings. Her first published novel was Monkeys on the Bed. Besides writing, her passions are choral singing, playing tennis, traveling, sampling new candy, and most of all, hanging out with family and friends.
To learn more about the book at the author visit her website – http://ellensherman.com/ – and get social.