Tuesday, April 7, 2020
I just want to put a plug in for my friend Mary Pauline Lowry, whose novel The Roxy Letters is out today from Simon & Schuster. It is their top book of the spring season, and with good reason. I knew Mary here in Boise as she wrote this book, and it has been a lot of fun to watch it evolve and, with some luck, become a blockbuster. Mary would describe it as Bridget Jones Diary in Austin, or something about sex-starved life in Austin post-Great Recession. But let's be real, Mary: it's a land use novel about gentrification. The plot revolves (in part) around a woman who is fed up with the loss of cultural institutions in her beloved, funky Austin that is increasingly beset with Lululemons and other chain stores. Much comedy ensues as she decides to fight the power, and tries to find love along the way. Of course, Mary (and probably her publisher) would be mortified to hear me describe The Roxy Letters as a land use novel, but that's my take, and I'm sticking to it. Buy a copy today!
Here is the official, non-land use focused description:
Meet Roxy. She’s a sometimes vegan, always broke artist with a heart the size of Texas and an ex living in her spare bedroom. Her life is messy, but with the help of a few good friends and by the grace of the goddess Venus she’ll discover that good sex, true love, and her life’s purpose are all closer than she realizes.
Bridget Jones penned a diary; Roxy writes letters. Specifically: she writes letters to her hapless, rent-avoidant ex-boyfriend—and current roommate—Everett. This charming and funny twenty-something is under-employed (and under-romanced), and she’s decidedly fed up with the indignities she endures as a deli maid at Whole Foods (the original), and the dismaying speed at which her beloved Austin is becoming corporatized. When a new Lululemon pops up at the intersection of Sixth and Lamar where the old Waterloo Video used to be, Roxy can stay silent no longer.
As her letters to Everett become less about overdue rent and more about the state of her life, Roxy realizes she’s ready to be the heroine of her own story. She decides to team up with her two best friends to save Austin—and rescue Roxy’s love life—in whatever way they can. But can this spunky, unforgettable millennial keep Austin weird, avoid arrest, and find romance—and even creative inspiration—in the process?