Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Romance Reader's Guide to Life

The Romance Reader's Guide to Life

A Novel

Sharon Pywell

Flatiron Books




"Smart, funny, and compulsively readable." --Kirkus (starred review)

As a young girl, Neave was often stuck in a world that didn’t know what to do with her. As her mother not unkindly told her, she was never going to grow up to be a great beauty. Her glamorous sister, Lilly, moved easily through the world, a parade of handsome men in pursuit. Her brother didn’t want a girl joining his group of friends. And their small town of Lynn, Massachusetts, didn’t have a place for a girl whose feelings often put her at war with the world -- often this meant her mother, her brother, and the town librarian who wanted to keep her away from the Dangerous Books she really wanted to read.

But through an unexpected friendship, Neave finds herself with a forbidden copy of The Pirate Lover, a steamy romance, and Neave discovers a world of passion, love, and betrayal. And it is to this world that as a grown up she retreats to again and again when real life becomes too much.

Neave finds herself rereading The Pirate Lover more than she ever would have expected because as she gets older, life does not follow the romances she gobbled up as a child. When Neave and Lilly are about to realize their professional dream, Lilly suddenly disappears. Neave must put her beloved books down and take center stage, something she has been running from her entire life. And she must figure out what happened to Lilly – and if she’s next. Who Neave turns to help her makes Sharon Pywell's The Romance Reader's Guide to Life one of the most original, entertaining, exciting, and chilling novels you will read this year.



Where She Is Now

If you’re reading this, then you aren’t where I am, which is dead. I was delivered here a little prematurely courtesy of some mistakes that might, if I’m going to be totally honest...


Praise for The Romance Reader's Guide to Life

Praise for The Romance Reader's Guide to Life

The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life is a fascinating blend of genres that flows together seamlessly, creating the most original story I’ve read in a long time. Partly narrated from the afterlife, this riveting suspense story manages to be darkly comic at times (Mr. Boppit had me laughing out loud), while dealing with complex family dynamics that can fester for years. The second narrative, an intriguing pirate romance, is deliciously entertaining, but the real love story in this book, is the one between these sisters, and their bond that can’t be broken in any life.” —Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go

"Smart, funny, and compulsively readable: this one may finally win the underrecognized author the wider audience her talent deserves." —Kirkus (starred review)

Praise for Sharon Pywell's Previous Work

“An utterly compelling book about the magical endurance of history, family, faith and love." —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“Beautiful and perfectly paced.” —People

“…beautifully written…tremendously appealing…with a freshness and originality of style…I loved it.” —Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

“Haunting yet touching…Equal parts beautiful and heartbreaking, rippling outward like a pebble in a lake.” —The Charleston Post and Courier

“Evocative and haunting.” —Nelson DeMille

“One of those books that pulls and tugs at you.” —Denver Post

“The best examination of political and moral issues within the framework of family life since Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres.” —Kirkus (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads