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 razor-sharp, fast-paced novel that cuts to the core of what it means to balance ambition and integrity. With lashings of sex, glamour, bad behaviour and wicked publishing insider references, The Girl on the Page is a muscular, juicy and provocative novel that is all about what really matters in life, and the redemptive power of great literature.
About the Author
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop - imaginatively called 'John's Bookshop' - in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written (under a pseudonym) a series of successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at literary’ festivals and on TV and been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection.
This is a wonderful book. It's a page turner full of well realized characters you really care about. It's pacey, exciting, suspenseful and insightful. I really enjoyed it.
South Coast NSW
Disappointing 50 shades of a girl on the page
I'm unsure as to how Amy's sex life enhances the story line. I just found it a bit crude, and detracting from the narrative. The discussions about authors and the publishing scene were interesting, and would've made for a good read; if we didn't have to read about Amy's frequent promiscuous adventures. If Amy was editing this book I'm sure she would've cut out all this excess filling and have left behind a brilliant read.
A gripping read!
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.
Okay in parts
I cannot see how the chapters on Amy's sex life enhance the narrative. I am old but not a prude. I found the discussion re authors, publishing. houses, publishers and prizes and the nature of literature interesting but for me the overt sex scenes detracted.
Under the covers
I loved this book and while I do often move books on after reading, I won't be parting with this one because there are lists of recommended (by the key characters) books at the end and I intend to read all of those I haven't already. It is an inside look at what might go on in the book publishing industry - the value of prizes, discussions about what is or is not 'literature', bitchiness and some very excellent, and sometimes not so excellent, sex scenes.
New tack on popular topic
I revelled in the references to writers and books, was intrigued and informed about the inner workings of modern publishing, had to bear the extremely interesting leading lady's language and putting it to action- I suppose at 95 I have to learn! And I rejoiced in the literary ethics of the older writers.
Ruth the reader
A hugely enjoyable read
Really unusual plot with beautiful characters and a devastating ending. You'll think about it for a lot afterward.
Loved this book!
What a great story, a real page turner set in the literary world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommend this.
The Girl On The Page
'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
'Fizzy, ferocious, and ice-pick sharp, packed with wit and heart - think The Devil Wears Prada by way of Bret Easton Ellis. Gulp it down. Or savor it slowly. Just read it.' - AJ Finn, author of international bestseller The Woman in the Window
'Hilarious and heartbreaking ... I know people are going to enjoy this book as much as I did.' - Christian White, bestselling author of The Nowhere Child
'So genuine, rich with insider info. Super read.' - Candice Fox, international bestselling author of Redemption Point
'Fast-paced, clever, funny, seriously thought and talk-provoking.' - Dervla McTiernan, bestselling author of The Ruin
The Girl On The Page: it’s like getting on a fast-'moving train or maybe a rocket, filled with people who love books as much as you do! You cannot and don’t want to get off, following every dynamic, insatiable, brilliant character right to the stunning end.' Caroline Overington, bestselling author of The Ones You Trust, The Lucky One, I Came To Say Goodbye and many more.
'In The Girl on the Page, John Purcell triumphs with a scalpel in one hand and his heart in the other. It is a gripping, dark comedy of a novel which eviscerates the cynicism of contemporary publishing while uttering a cri du coeur for what is happening to writers and readers this century. Through this dark comedy - I squealed with laughter, page after page - flash questions about cultural life that Purcell asks but leaves us to ponder.' Blanche d'Alpuget
‘A rollicking, sexy read about great fiction, trashy readers, writerly egos and the industry that feeds them all.' Michael Robotham, international bestselling author and Gold Dagger winner.
'A juicy page turner that takes a scalpel to the literary world, written with deep insider intel and a gleeful sense of mischief, The Girl on the Page is a wickedly clever, razor-sharp satire of lust, betrayal and ambition.' Caroline Baum
'A page turner that made me laugh a little, cry a bit and think a lot.' Anne Buist, bestselling author of Medea's Curse and Two Steps Forward (with Graeme Simsion).
ISBN: 9781460756973 ISBN-10: 1460756975 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 400 Published: 24th September 2018 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4
Weight (kg): 0.49