The Nobodies

Liza Palmer. Flatiron, $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-16984-6

Palmer (The F Word) delivers a feel-good story about second chances in her funny and clever latest. Thirty-six-year-old out-of-work Los Angeles journalist Joan Dixon is at a crossroads after a corruption story she’s spent the last six months on failed to impress the influential Tavia Keppel, whose family owns several newspapers. When she scores a job as a junior copywriter at tech startup Bloom, she’s thrilled to get a paycheck, but feels hopelessly out of place among so many perky 20-somethings. She strikes up friendships with her manager, the kind and attractive Thornton Yu, and coworkers Elise and Hani, but her instincts tell her that the slick founders of the aggressively hip Bloom are hiding something. What does Bloom actually do? No one really knows, and Joan can’t get a straight answer, so she recruits her new friends to help her find out, discovering romance and plenty of surprises about herself along the way. Joan’s at times fumbling attempts to move forward with her life amidst crushing self-doubt will resonate, and her tentative romance with Thornton and relationships with friends and family showcase Palmer’s talent for finding magic in small moments. This is a real crowd-pleaser. (Sept.)