The Audacity of Sara Grayson by Joani Elliott

Can she do it?

Sara Grayson is having a tough time. Her husband has left, taking her confidence with him. Then her mother, a world-famous suspense novelist, dies. Three weeks later, Sara learns that her mother’s dying wish was for Sara to write the final book in her bestselling series. Gulp. Sara does not believe that she can do this and is on the verge of declining in a meeting with her mother’s publishers. But then an insult gets her back up and she decides to proceed.

Really, Sara. From writing greeting cards to writing a satisfying conclusion to a bestselling series? How audacious.

We travel with Sara on her journey through self-doubt, compounded by writer’s block, and her discovery of family secrets. Sara’s sister, Anna-Kath, supports her but has some issues of her own to deal with. Sara is up against very tight deadlines and the publisher seems sure that she will fail (and is doing her best to achieve that outcome). I kept reading and changing my mind about whether I thought Sara could do it. In the meantime, Sara writes and procrastinates, freezes, unfreezes, and refreezes. All this angst to deal with, all these issues to overcome, and family secrets threatening to undermine everything. The odds seem stacked against Sara.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. While I enjoyed much of it, I became frustrated at times with four hundred pages containing much angst and deeply involved family secrets. But I wanted Sara to succeed (it is an underdog thing) so I kept reading. And yes, I liked the ending.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Meryl Moss Media for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith