Have you ever read a book that just pulls you into its universe? The characters become your friends and your family. You cannot stand for it to end as if you can tell that the characters don’t want to lose you as the reader either. The Nobodies is that book for me. It is the first book that I have read this year that I was fully able to immerse myself in and become friends with the characters.
Joan Dixon is a journalist, although she has issues accepting this because she was laid off from her journalism job almost a year ago. She has been paying the bills with freelancing work, but that is becoming harder and harder. Her solution is to apply for a job at Bloom, a 21st century technology company. If you are not well versed in the technology world of Silicon Valley, do not stop from reading The Nobodies. Palmer explains everything very simply, and you only need to understand what she tells you in the story, nothing more.
Bloom is a company that seems to only employ millennials, and a lot of them, to thirty-six year old Joan’s dismay. This starts her on a path of finding herself, and possibly a little destruction along the way. You have to read to find out, but I will tell you for sure that it kept me entranced for the entire book. This is not a typical predictable romance novel. I appreciated that the romance was woven into the bigger story, but it never overshadowed Joan’s true purpose.
Through reviewing women’s fiction I have discovered some things about my certain preferences for a story:
- I like a strong female narrator who is on a quest to find something meaningful from life, whether it be how to forgive someone (Things You Save in a Fire) or simply how to love yourself through all circumstances (The Nobodies).
- I want to read more about the aforementioned quest than the mushy gushy love stuff. I like a little love stuff. I appreciate a knight in shining armor just as much as the next person, but I like the narrator to save herself first with maybe just a tad bit of help from that knight.
- I need there to be likable characters who do not grate on my nerves. I especially need the narrator(s) to be likable. I may not agree with all their choices and thoughts; they may frustrate me at times. Whatever choices they make, I need them to own up to those choices and their own flaws.
Liza Palmer’s novel has all of this. Joan was certainly at a time in her life that was challenging and included a lot of negative self-talk, but I was cheering for her the whole time. I felt like I was having coffee with my best friend who just went through a hardship, and my job was just to listen to all of it and encourage her through it but not fix anything for her. I just had to love her through it all without offering up my nosey advice, knowing that when she came out on the other side I would love her more for her resilience. I hope it is clear just how much I connected with this story and the protagonist, Joan Dixon.
As always, this is a spoiler-free review, but I can say that I was on the edge of my seat until the very end and laughing the whole way. This is very unusual for a book of the chick lit genre, which makes it hard to even call it that. How does one qualify a book that feels to have checked every box? Fiction is most beautiful when the reader knows that it is not true, but at the same time it feels so real, so raw, so right. I have had the same thoughts and fears as the protagonist; I have walked in her shoes in ways that I haven’t been able to put into words as beautifully as Liza Palmer writes.
Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for giving me an advanced electronic copy of The Nobodies in exchange for my honest review. I can safely say that I can and will recommend this book. If you would like to pre-order this five-star book in order to receive it on publication day, September 10, then you can do so on Amazon. Let me know in the comments below if you have ever connected with a story as much as I have with this story. I hope this has convinced you to read this beautiful novel.