Meet Me in the Margins
By: Melissa Ferguson
Publication: February 15th 2022 by Thomas Nelson
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.
One: She’s writing a romance novel.
Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.
After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins. Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all. As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same. Melissa Ferguson’s latest—a love letter to books, readers, and romance—will leave fans laughing out loud and swooning in the same breath.
I pretty much devoured Meet Me in the Margins. I seem to have a love for mysterious/anonymous correspondence love stories. Perhaps it's because my husband and I fell in love through correspondence even though we both knew each other in real life and knew exactly who we were talking to. But I just have a soft spot where these love stories come from. And Meet Me in the Margins handled all of the pieces so well.
Savannah has been working as an editor at a small publishing house in Nashville, Tennessee. She's also been secretly working on her own novel for years. Only the publisher she works for looks down on commercial fiction--specifically romance. Savannah feels like she barely has it together. Her long-time on-again-off-again boyfriend is now engaged to her sister. And she's living with the same sister. Her family prioritizes sticking together and helping each other out no matter what. Only Savannah seems to be the one who always has to sacrifice for the good of other members of the family and not the other way around. She dumps her manuscript in a hidden room at the publishing company in an attempt to hide it one day, but when she returns to it someone has written notes in the margins--essentially editing her novel. At first, she's incensed, but she comes to realize the editor has some good points.
Will left his position in New York as an editor for one of the bigger publishing houses. He hopes to save the drowning smaller publishing company that his mother founded. Only, the going isn't easy. He has his hands full trying to make the changes the company really needs to survive. And Savannah just happens to give him some candid information. He learns to trust her opinion and judgment. Now we're left to hope and wonder if Will is the mystery editor or not. Of course, I won't ruin things for you by telling you the answer.
I absolutely loved the insight into the author/editor relationship. I think almost all readers are fascinated by the process. We don't get to see the entire publishing process. We only see the end result. And I found every piece of this interesting.
My only real critique is that so much of the book was dedicated to the romantic build-up and big reveal that I didn't feel like I got to enjoy the payoff as much as I wanted.
-Maybe the best thing to do now would be to play dead.
-Free books. Free prerelease books. Only a true reader would understand.
-The man took my ardently felt monologue, gave it a polite pat on the head, and told it to go and play while the adults stayed on task.
-Writing is what makes me happy. Writing, even, is how I feel I contribute to the world. Reminding people of what's important. Letting them escape the harsh parts of life, even if just for a few hours. Feeling happiness in watching happily-ever-afters unfold. Remembering truths. Recalling their self-worth. Loving others. Living well. Learning. I want to do that.
Meet Me in the Margins wasn't just a great love story. Meet Me in the Margins was a love story to readers, to authors, to publishers, to the love of books and stories, to the writing and crafting of them. I only wish I had more time to dwell on the happily-ever-after before it was over. But being left wanting in this way is a good thing. I stayed up until midnight reading this book, and I also neglected working on Baby Boy's birthday party in favor of finishing this book. That ought to tell you something. Meet Me in the Margins gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read Meet Me in the Margins? What did you think? Let me know.