Monday, February 27, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Little Did I Know by Mitchell Maxwell

GOODREADS SYNOPSISHere is the story of an unforgettable summer. Set in Plymouth, MA in the late seventies, Little Did I Know is the tale of a young man with an outsized dream – to refurbish a dilapidated but historic theater and produce a season's worth of vibrant musicals. A recent college graduate, he fills his cast and crew with people he has come to love and trust in his university life, and with others whose talents and personalities prove undeniable. Yet, while the productions drive his ambitions, a local woman drives his passions, and their romance is fateful, star-crossed, and ultimately more than either of them expected. Told with with, compassion, and the kind of insider's access to the theater that only someone like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, Little Did I Know is a novel about coming of age in the spotlight and embracing one's entire future in a single season.

My Review:  The year is 1976, and main character Sam August is graduating from college with his band of colorful friends. The group is unsure of what to do next, now that they’re adults. Sam finds an advertisement for the lease of theater in historic Plymouth and convinces his friends that this is what they’re next step is. They will go to Plymouth and produce musicals for the summer, restoring the theater to its former glory. The wealthy owner of the theater (and half the town), Mr. Barrows, refuses to make things easy on Sam. Throw in Mr. Barrows’ young trophy-wife, Lizzy, and Sam faces a moral dilemma – over how far he will go to get the theater. To make matters worse, Sam’s love interest Veronica and Lizzy have bad history. Will Sam be able to overcome small town politics and have a successful show? I’m not going to tell you :) The book is worth reading, and one lucky reader will win the ARC copy I was given to review.

Mitchell Maxwell is an excellent writer. His plot is well done, and benefits from his inside knowledge of the theatre. I really enjoyed the language Maxwell uses. I’ve been reading a lot of young adult books lately, some of them about college aged kids, but Maxwell’s story has more substance and more texture.

The characters are well developed and interesting to get to know. Sam dreams big and follows on his up on his dreams. He is a natural leader and good at getting what he wants. Throughout the book his dream is contagious as he sells others on it. He is persistent, steadfast, and charming. I love Veronica, and Mitchell Maxwell does a great job of making her likable, mysterious, and describing this strong female character who has endured much. Sam’s band of friends all bring something interesting and unique to the table. I like Secunda with his designer suits, trust fund, and laid-back, easy personality.

It’s an engrossing read and was hard for me to put down. I hope that you will read it and enjoy it as much as I have. For a chance to win my ARC copy, enter via rafflecopter.

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