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Monsters: A Love Story

Lori Narlock

Put down whatever you are reading and pick up Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay, a poet. Smart, sad, funny, nuanced, this book has it all. This is the book I read in the day and a half we were at the cabin last weekend.


In summer, the cabin is our “beach” so I like to take books there that are entertaining and transcending. Monsters was that and so good, I contemplated reading it in the car on our way home (hello carsick) but instead put off the laundry—and everything else—to finish it as soon as we walked in the door.


The premise is brilliant: The main character is Stacey, a poet, whose husband has recently passed away and now she has a novel in verse being made into a movie. In the making of the movie she forms a relationship with one of the stars. Stuff of fantasy (did I mention it's a book of poetry being made into a movie....). But like real life it gets complicated.


Stacey lives in Omaha, has two young sons and is at odds with a sister who just wants her to remarry and rebuild a family so they can all be happy again. Ill at ease in LA and lost in her place in the world back home in Omaha, Stacey struggles with wanting to do the right thing even when the right thing isn’t what she really wants. 


Liz Kay tells this story with perfect pacing and insights that get you inside the main character's head while resonating with your own emotional state. It's great storytelling that made me want to read as fast as I could to get to the end but I kept slowing down to make sure I didn't miss a single detail.


It’s the kind of book I’ll buy two copies of so I can reread one of the copies and give the other to a friend to read so we can talk about it.


Other books I've read lately:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. This was a fun book by the author of American Wife, one of my favorite books.

The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. Australian and a little tough to follow in the beginning. The story is a little dark but well written.

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. Loved the story of this book's publishing as much as the book itself.