cover image Nora Goes Off Script

Nora Goes Off Script

Annabel Monaghan. Putnam, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-42003-4

In Monaghan’s irresistible adult fiction debut, (after the humor book Does This Volvo Make My Butt Look Big?) she introduces romance screenwriter Nora Hamilton, who pumps out happily-ever-after stories for cable television while cynically processing her divorce from Ben, who fell out of love with Nora and lost interest in having a family. After she veers from her previous script formula for one based on her ill-fated marriage, Hollywood comes calling. Enter Leo Vance, People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” cast as Nora’s ex. The production includes two days at Nora’s house, and when filming wraps, Leo offers to pay her $1,000 a day to stay for a week. There, he enjoys the real-world pleasures of grocery shopping, directing a children’s play, and eating average home-cooked meals. Arthur and Bernadette, Nora’s children, are equally smitten with Leo, and as the week goes on, his presence offers them a new sense of family. After Leo is called away for work, Nora must find a way to carry on and deal with her feelings about Ben, Leo, and the romance genre, now that she’s actually put her heart on the line. With pitch-perfect characters full of foibles and flaws, the work taps into genuine feelings as the characters fall in love. This is a winner. Agent: Marly Rusoff, Marly Rusoff Literary. (June)