I finished reading The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz about one week ago. I have been thinking about what I might write in this review. I seemed to have a love-hate relationship with this book. I think the reader who will enjoy this book the most will have read a wide palate of books and know something about the publishing world. To start, I love that the main character Jake Bonner carries the middle name of “Finch” to honor Harper Lee’s beloved Atticus. I also like that various pieces of literature are mentioned.
Our main character had a hit debut novel but could not live up to his success with his second, third, and near fourth books. Not having success and needing to earn a living he ends up teaching a group of would-be writers in a second rate writing problem at a small college in Vermont. He really doesn’t want to be there and not sure he is very helpful to his students. One of his students Evan Parker discusses his idea for a best seller. When the program ends, and a few years past, Jake decides to use Evan’s idea of the mother daughter plot for his own book. He publishes a best seller Crib.
The book alternates with too many long chapters that drag on for a good part of the book. In certain chapters, we are treated to pages from Crib. I enjoyed these. This book is labeled as a thriller but for me there are too many pages that I kept saying let’s get on with it. More editing is needed. The last fifty pages were very good, and I am glad I read this book. My thanks Celadon and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions of this review are my own.
3.5 rounded to 4