Cover Image: The Editor

The Editor

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Member Reviews

I tried so hard to get into this because I loved the concept of it - not least that Jackie really was Jackie and not just a loosely "based on" character a la Miranda Preistley. 

Unfortunately though, I had to give up on this about 30% through because I just was not grabbed by the execution of the story. I just couldn't connect with the character of James and found it very slow moving. I just didn;'t really care what happened to James and so couldn't engage with or bring myself to finish the book.
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I just couldn't get into this at all. I tried. I really did. It's a wonderful concept - a fictionalised telling of the period when Jackie Kennedy Onassis was an editor - but it just isn't executed in a way which made me warm to any of the characters involved. I didn't think the excerpts from the book she was working on were particularly well written and I didn't like the style in the slightest.

I love historical fiction and biographies. Unfortunately, this just wasn't for me.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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James is a young writer who has been trying to get his semi autobiographical novel published since he left college. After years of struggle living, a publisher finally shows interest and he meets his editor: Jackie Kennedy.

This novel surprised me in many ways. I thought it was going to be dramatic, and although it touches on very serious themes, I also laughed. I thought it was going to be about working with the most famous woman in the world, and yes, Jackie's shadow was everywhere in the book, but the story didn't really revolve around her. I didn't expect a family drama and I didn't expect us to think so much about what Jackie's private life, as a mother and just a woman who is damn tired of performing for the cameras like that's the only thing she's good for.

The first half of the story is virtually flawless, I could barely put it down to go to sleep. From the suicide jokes to the daiquiris, it was all quite fun. The homecoming and Thanksgiving were quite enjoyable, but it definitely felt like a different novel between the 50% and the 75% mark, something more like "August: Osage County." Although I didn't mind where the story went, the rythm definitely changed and that threw me off.

The last 25% came back again to the pacing of the start, which I appreciated, although by this moment I wasn't that invested in the story anymore. I just didn't much care about the mom, the dad, or what they did. I just wanted the book published. I'm glad the storyline with Mark didn't go any further, because I thought the relationship between James and Daniel was quite lovely and sometimes the only good thing going for the protagonist, so without it it felt absolutely depressing.

Finally, the last section, in 1994, was incredibly moving. I didn't know about any of this, I wasn't born when it happened, so I guess I wasn't as invested as other people, but the crowd's reactions and the feeling of mass mourning felt very real and touching. It left a good taste in my mouth.
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The Editor is a book that will make you laugh out loud, delving into the relationship between Editor and Writer. The dynamics between the characters in the novel are interesting, exciting, believable and very engaging.
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A young author about to get his first book published.His first editor Jacqueline Kennedy yes the famous First Lady.Their relationship will have you laughing also the deeper it gets the more emotional.Layers are pulled back se rets revealed.A terrific book by an author whose books drew me right in.#netgalley#harpercollinsuk
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It was a really interesting and surprising book. I enjoyed it a lot. I wouldn't read any blurb going in it. It was amzing to see the world of writers and editors. As a reader, I found it very fascinating. 
It was very well written with intrigue and a good pace. 
Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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This novel, from the author of Lily and the Octopus, borrows from real history, of when Jackie O was a successful editor, following her time as First Lady. James is struggling to make it as a writer, but when he lands a deal with one of the most famous women in the world he can't believe his luck. As he works more and more on his novel, he gets to know not only Jackie but himself, as he increasingly reveals more of his past and his troubled relationship with his family.

Unfortunately this book didn't live up to Rowley's debut, but still a nice read about Jackie Kennedy Onassis in her later years, and about a man writing to make sense of his family.
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Set in 1990’s New York this is a novel about a struggling writer,James Smale who finally sells his novel to a major publishing house and receives a huge surprise when he finds out that Jacky Onassis is going to be the editor for his book. 
James's novel is candidly autobiographical, exposing his own dysfunctional family. The story involves mother/son dynamics, struggles with self-confidence, the process of writing, the effects of secrets. 
When James struggles to finish the manuscript because its publication will threaten family relationships Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to  confront the truth of his relationship with his mother and write an authentic ending. This exposes further secrets .
Personally I found it quite difficult to engage with the plot or care about the protagonist.
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A struggling writer, one lucky break and one VERY famous Editor. An engaging read - the relationship between struggling writer, James, and the Editor, Jackie ('Mrs Onassis to you'), is intense, their friendship an unlikely one. Well written with some excellent characterisation (particularly the Editor herself) and an addictive storyline which starts with a completely intriguing premise. Enjoyable.
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Such an enchanting and beautifully written book.  

I never knew that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis worked as an editor.  It seems as if this book is about James who is surprised to be called to a meeting with J O who loves his debut and becomes his editor. However I think it is essentially about his relationship with his mother, which will make you squirm, laugh and cry.

"Because there is only here and now"
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This wasn’t the usual type of book I’d normally choose but it was very well written and extremely funny in parts I liked it .
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I adored this book.  It is charming, surprising, funny, poignant and above all a wonderful story packed with believable characters.  Jackie O as the editor in question brings an extra dimension that really works.  I love books that blend fact with fiction and this does it seamlessly with true respect and love for Mrs Onassis shining out. It would make a wonderful screenplay with some great visual moments that cannot be described for fear of spoiling the plot.  Read this and enjoy.
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James is a struggling writer with a complex family relationship.  His first book is picked up by a major publishing house and his editor is Jacqueline Onassis. The book is a beautiful journey of discovery, although perhaps ironically the ending made me feel there was something missing.
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This was a slow burner read for me, and it did take me a while to find my pace with the story. I did love the premise though and how the author took the famous First Lady Jackie Onassis and focused more on her life after office and into the world publishing.

James Smale couldn’t believe it when he finally sells his novel to a major publishing house and he was even dumbstruck when he discovers his editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis! The book take place in the 1990’s and the author did a great job of throwing you back to that period – I was a teenager in ’94 and it was definitely reminiscent to what I remember.

I did struggle with some parts of the book being slow, if I am honest skimmed a lot of James inner long winded dialogue as it was just not interesting for me and didn’t hold my attention, that being said I read on and I only wish that Mrs Onassis was a stronger feature in this book. Sometimes I felt that her part could have been anyone.

This book didn’t live up to my expectation, but despite the pace and long winded parts I did find this to be a good read.

3.5/4 stars
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It is a well written book. I liked the story but it did not engage me o the level I like a book to engage me.  the story deals with some life dilemmas, which are in everyones life. Also on the positive side, it does have amazing humor.
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This is a fiction title about an author writing a semi-autobiographical novel about his relationship with his mother, all while navigating a tricky relationship with his actual mother. After his book is accepted by a publishing house, he meets his new editor: The one and only Mrs Jackie Onassis (the wife of US President Kennedy, for those like me who didn't know...).

Rowley has written this book so well that it's really easy to forget that this is a work of fiction, sometimes. The main character's voice draws you in and shares his angst - objectively, he's a bit selfish and overly dramatic about things, but you still like him and want things to work out for him.

This is an exploration of a relationship between a gay man and his mother (the fact that he's gay is relevant but not the focus of the novel), as well as his relationships with the other people in his life. I can't lie, I did get a bit weepy near the end!

It's the author's writing style and imagination that makes this book so beautiful a read, it's a tribute to authors, editors and book lovers.
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Slightly unusual story line but I couldn’t really get into it. It seemed rather disjointed in places.
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What a delightful book. Not my normal genre but I am always willing to read something new. A book about mending relationships between a mother and son.  A young author writes a book about his mother. It is accepted for publication and his editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. They strike up a relationship where the editor encourages the author to dig deeper. This he does and by doing so gains a greater understanding of his mother and father and why their life took a certain route. The story also made me want to investigate the life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis further.
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After years of trying to become a writer James Smale is finally getting his book published.  A semi-autobiographical novel about his relationship with his mother, James is both pleased and nervous at the reception he will get.  When he visits his publisher, Doubleday, James is shocked to discover that his editor is to be Jackie Onassis.  As James edits his book his reflects on his life and Jackie provides support in an unusual way.
Although this book purports to be about Jackie O, that's really not the case.  Jackie merely acts as a focus for what is a reflective novel about a young gay man facing up to reality in 1990s New York and answering a lot of questions from his childhood.  Therefore is it more a coming of age novel but with a twist.  Jackie provides a leitmotif for James and as a plot tool it works incredibly well.  This is an intense and yet almost slight book.
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Not my usual genre. And this is why I must branch out more and read a more ‘varied diet’. 
Poignant, compelling and ultimately a well written and frankly beautiful book.
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