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The Girl on the Page

The Girl on the Page 2

by John Purcell

Paperback Publication Date: 24/09/2018

5/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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Two women, two great betrayals, one path to redemption. A punchy, powerful and page-turning novel about the redemptive power of great literature, from industry insider, John Purcell.

Amy Winston is a hard-drinking, bed-hopping, hot-shot young book editor on a downward spiral. Having made her name and fortune by turning an average thriller writer into a Lee Child, Amy is given the unenviable task of steering literary great Helen Owen back to publication.

When Amy knocks on the door of their beautiful townhouse in north west London, Helen and her husband, the novelist Malcolm Taylor, are conducting a silent war of attrition. The townhouse was paid for with the enormous seven figure advance Helen was given for the novel she wrote to end fifty years of making ends meets on critical acclaim alone. The novel Malcolm thinks unworthy of her. The novel Helen has yet to deliver. The novel Amy has come to collect.

Amy has never faced a challenge like this one. Helen and Malcolm are brilliant, complicated writers who unsettle Amy into asking questions of herself - questions about what she values, her principles, whether she has integrity, whether she is authentic. Before she knows it, answering these questions becomes a matter of life or death.

From ultimate book industry insider, John Purcell, comes a literary page-turner, a ferocious and fast-paced novel that cuts to the core of what it means to balance ambition and integrity, and the redemptive power of great literature.

"A slick, sharp novel about books and relationships, drenched in delicious insider detail from the book industry. Impossible not to enjoy." - Matt Haig, international bestselling author of Notes on a Nervous Planet and How to Stop Time

ISBN:
9781460756973
Category:
Fiction
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
24-09-2018
Pages:
400
Dimensions (mm):
234x154x28mm
Weight:
0.49kg

John Purcell

John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia.

The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012.

The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French, Korean and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for over twenty-five years.

While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing.

Now he is the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au.

Please order this title before midnight December 13th for your best chance of Christmas delivery. Orders for this title placed after December 13th may arrive in the new year.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (2 Ratings)
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  • A gripping read!

    by on


    The Girl on the Page by John Purcell is a character driven novel focused on the publishing industry. It gripped me from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down. I fell in love with Amy Winston – the bad girl of publishing, with a reputation for taking a good author and turning them into a bestseller. Amy says she loves “books, clothes, sex. And champagne. Four constants. And money. Five constants.” And those constants feature in the book.

    Amy reminded me of Lisbeth Salandar, although after I finished the book, I read the author say she was actually inspired by Amy Winehouse, and I can see that too. I still enjoyed picturing her as Lisbeth, another character I adored getting to know.

    So much happens in this book, and the characters are all richly portrayed (just none intrigued me as much as Amy). That said, at times I wondered how I would categorise the book – what was the genre? And the narration flipped from Amy’s first person to the third person, which could annoy some readers. Nevertheless, I loved reading every page of this book.

    If you like reading and the nature of publishing, you’ll enjoy this book! If you enjoy rich characters, and the interactions between them, you’ll enjoy this book! Actually, if you enjoy reading about books, clothes, sex, champagne and money, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this book!

    The book concludes with lists of books recommended by the ‘characters’ in the story. Brilliant! I laughed my way through my list, and was thrilled to see Amy’s recommendation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, making me think my view of her as Lisbeth Salander may not be completely off base.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  • Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson

    by on

    There is perhaps no other industry in the world quite so bizarre as the publishing industry. Sweary self-help guides jostle for attention with Man Booker nominees on bookshop shelves worldwide as publishers desperately respond to our never-ending demand for content. So what’s a booklover to do? According to industry insider John Purcell, you write a book that’s ready to gleefully kick the legs out from underneath it all. Equal parts publishing exposé and literary love letter, The Girl on the Page is a masterful novel that does exactly that.

    Malcolm and Helen Owen are two great authors on the brink of disaster. Helen has accepted a huge advance for her next literary masterpiece but the manuscript for that novel is anything but - to publish it would be the death knell for her reputation and possibly even her marriage. Enter Amy Winston, brilliant, beautiful and self-destructive, and Helen’s last hope to salvage her legacy. A Becky Sharpe for the millennial age who macheted her way into an editorial career, Amy breezes through life clouded in the heady haze of sex and champagne. When she’s not sleeping with mediocre thriller-writers she’s shaping them into bestselling authors, and it’s safe to say that she is entirely unprepared for dealing with two literary giants like Helen and Malcolm Owen. What began as an assignment to collect an overdue manuscript soon turns into the ultimate lesson: that a book is never just a book, it can quite literally change your life.

    Any successful writer will tell you that you can’t feed yourself on critical acclaim alone - you will inevitably have to compromise your artistic integrity for survival at some point. It’s refreshing to finally read a book that acknowledges this and The Girl on the Page does so with a frankness that is bound to ruffle some feathers. It’s a provocative read, with lots to say about what it means to be a great writer but also how to be a great reader, especially in a world where so many books are written and marketed to appeal to a common denominator. This book could very easily be preachy or condescending in the wrong hands but it keeps its tongue firmly in cheek, letting the reader in on the joke every time with extraordinary irreverence. In doing so, it reminds us that a discerning reader is worth their weight in gold and it is all the richer for it.

    The Girl on the Page is fierce, witty and whip-smart, with a beating heart and a furious love of great literature at its very core. It will make you laugh and it might just make you cry, but best of all it will remind you of why you love to read.