The Plot is a suspenseful story about Jacob Finch Bonner, an author who feels he may be a one-hit-wonder. His first book was a New York Times Notable book, his second was a tree falling in a forest. Now he is teaching writing to adults whom he holds in contempt. The feeling is certainly mutual when he meets Evan Parker, a student who insists he has a best-seller but won’t share in class because his story might be stolen. Eventually, he shares his plot and Jake is impressed. He might be right.
Time marches on and he keeps waiting for Evan’s masterpiece. Years later, out of curiosity, he googles for Evan and finds out he was dead. What a waste of a good story! And why not, no one owns a story. So he writes it and is a big success.
But then the messages start coming accusing him of stealing the story. On the one hand, his life is getting better and better. Undreamed of professional success, celebrity, and even falling in love, getting married. On the other hand, these accusations and his fear of exposure. What can he do to salvage his life?
The Plot succeeds. I was engrossed. However, I did feel angry at times. First, why did Jake feel any guilt at all? Sure, the plot his student told him was intriguing, but just a plot alone does not make a book great. The accomplishment was his, and his alone. There’s a world of difference between having a plot and having a novel and that difference is in the discipline of writing. Since I thought he did nothing wrong, then everything that happens as a result of it seems an injustice. I also thought for someone who wrote a Notable Book and a bestseller, he was naively obtuse when it came to how Evan came up with his plot.
Other than that, the story was definitely compelling. There is suspense and a growing sense of jeopardy. I did begin to suspect who was behind the harassment and sometimes wanted to kick him in the rear end for not seeing the obvious, but then, he was stressed out, and stressed out people can be oblivious to the obvious. So yes, a good story that made me care enough to be mad at the end.
The Plot will be released on May 11th. I received an ARC from the publisher through ShelfAwareness.