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The Editor

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  44 reviews
From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie--or
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 2nd 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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  • The Editor by Steven  Rowley
    The Editor
    Release date: Apr 09, 2019
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    Giveaway dates: Feb 20 - Mar 05, 2019

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.20  · 
    Rating details
     ·  85 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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    Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Unpublished author, James Smale, is star-struck. Who wouldn’t be? When he finally secures a book deal his editor is none other than Mrs. Jackie Onassis. However, there is one major snag. Mrs. Onassis is less than thrilled with the ending which she urges him to re-write. This leads James to confront and untangle the knot of his relationship with his mother. Who among us doesn’t struggle with relationships? James’ observations, actions and revelations are sardonic, droll and quite relatable even i ...more
    Carol (Bookaria)
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2019, fiction
    THE EDITOR is written by the same author that wrote LILY AND THE OCTOPUS, which is a book I loved.

    Imagine that, after pouring your heart into writing a book, a publishing house in NY calls you to have your work polished by an editor, and that editor is no other than Jackie Kennedy-Onassis!  I'd be so excited I'd pass away on the spot.

    The novel follows the relationship between Jackie, the editor, and James, the writer, as they work together. We are exposed to the editing process and the story is
    Cindy Burnett
    Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Editor is an absolute gem from start to finish. Rowley writes beautifully and lyrically, and his depiction of tough familial issues interspersed with the wit and wisdom of Jackie Onassis creates a perfect tale.

    James Smale is an unpublished author whose autobiographical novel about his dysfunctional has been sold to Doubleday Books. Sent by his agent to the publishing house, Smale is astonished to learn that Jackie Kennedy Onassis is his editor. As they commence working together to prepare t
    Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Wouldn't it be great if Jackie O. was your editor? Well that's what's happened to James when his first book is accepted by a publisher - he's assigned to Jackie Kennedy Onassis. James is awestruck,

    James has written a book about his mother and their relationship. It needs some work according to Jackie, especially the end - she wants it rewritten. As James works on the rewrite he learns some things about his life, his mother, and his father.

    This book was filled with both humor and introspection.
    Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arcs-2019
    Steven Rowley has done it again, but this time we fall in love with Jackie Kennedy Onassis all over again! Review to follow.
    Maine Colonial
    Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance reviewing copy.

    Novelists often write stories or characters based on their own lives, and I’ve always wondered how that affected the author’s friends and family. What is it like to know that anything you say or do could end up being betrayed—and maybe mischaracterized—in a novel? I was attracted to this novel by the fact that the lead character, James Smale, has written a book about his troubled relationship with his mother, and he has to deal with
    switterbug (Betsey)
    Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
    When I take a long time to finish a book because I am reading it between better books, it doesn’t bode too well for my final assessment. Actually, my favorite scene in the book is at the beginning, the first time our hero, James, meets Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It’s the early years of the 90s, when she is a Doubleday editor with a small office, who uses a conference room to meet with a client because it has more space. I think Rowley captured her essence there, at least the grace and polish sh ...more
    Linda Quinn
    Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I love that James’ relationship with Jackie Onassis forces him to confront his own mother and the dysfunctional nature of their relationship. Beautifully written and really heartwarming.
    Christopher Castellani
    Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    When you go to the grocery store, do you walk up and down every aisle, looking for things you might not even realize you need until you see them? Or do you go right to what's needed, throw it in the cart, and get out of there? What does this say about you? What does it say about your mother and father, who taught you one way or the other? Speaking of which, did you ever really know your mother? Are you sure your father's who he says he is? Oh, and what if, as you were figuring this all out, you ...more
    Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: general-fiction
    This is the story of a writer struggling to finish his semi-autobiographical debut novel. His editor is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, yes that Jackie Kennedy of pink pillbox hat fame. The book is set during the early '90's when the former first lady apparently had a career in publishing. I am not sure of the historical accuracy of some of the events in the novel. I never paid much attention to the female Kennedys; I was far more interested in John Jr. because, um, hello? Have you s ...more
    Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is a fascinating mock memoir of a young author who has the great and beautiful luck to have had a novel edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The author has done such a good job of creating Jackie in her role as mentor/editor that the reader feels like an intruder.

    A faux novel written by the young author was picked up by Mrs Onassis and we are allowed to share her editing and prodding him to find the truth about his relationship with his own mother. Rowley has done a tremendous amount of r
    Christina (Bookwormmommyof3)
    Radiantly stunning, a gem that is beautiful both inside & out. Very fortunate to have an early copy to read, it’ll be cherished. Release in April 2019, definitely pre-order and a Spring Must-Read.
    Eric Klee
    Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I was excited to have the opportunity to receive an advance copy of The Editor. I loved (and was very emotionally attached to) Steven Rowley's first book, Lily and the Octopus, so of course I wanted to read his second, without even knowing what it was about.

    The story is set in the early 1990s, before cell phones and the Internet were commonplace. The "Editor" actually refers to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who takes author James Smale and his first novel under her wing. Because I (oddly) didn't k
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    What if Jackie Kennedy was your editor? I loved this! A writer that finally gets picked up by Double Day Publishing gets the surprise of his life when he discovers that Jackie Kennedy is his editor. His novel is about his mother, whom he paints in a not so gracious light. Jackie tells him he needs an ending to his novel. She sends back home where he discovers secrets about his mother he never knew before. There are just so many things in this novel that I loved. The characters, his relationship ...more
    Susie Williams
    Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
    (Thank you to Netgalley for my free copy of this book)

    First of all, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I never knew Jackie O. worked in publishing in her later years. BUT I'm so glad this book brought it to my attention and gave me the chance to dive deep into her career, even if it is a fictional account. In any event, this is a wonderful book. Very different than Steven Rowley's Lily and the Octopus, but Rowley's same voice definitely shines through and so, if you enjoyed the
    Shannon Yarbrough
    James is an author who is fortunate enough to land Jackie Kennedy Onassis as his editor, only his book's ending needs help and Jackie pushes James to give the book an ending that both he and the book deserve.

    There are so many layers to this book that made it one of the best reads this year for me. I was fortunate enough to land an advanced copy, but I can wait to see what the literary world thinks when the book gets released next year.

    Rowley gives us an interesting glimpse into the life of Jacki
    Kim McGee
    Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is a delicious book meant to be devoured in one sitting including licking the plate clean and as you sit with your slightly distended belly, rest and relish the memory. A perfect blend of star-struck wonder, literary lust, witty banter and a touch of class only Jackie Kennedy Onassis can provide. Just like that, James the debut author's world was turned on end the day when he discovered that Mrs. Onassis was interested in his book and would become his editor. Part of the sheer joy of this n ...more
    Lorri Steinbacher
    Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Read in prepub. Due out April 2, 2019.

    Imagine you've written your first novel and you get an acceptance letter from Doubleday. Now imagine you walk into the first meeting with your editor and it is none other than Jackie Onassis. Rowley had written a charming story about the myths that we create about public figures and the myths that we create about the ones we love the most. You might think it was a story with a quirky gimmick, but Rowley uses the character of Jackie to perfect effect. The cha
    Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

    Every now and then I choose a title outside of genres I'm typically drawn to, and this is one of those books. Having not read the beloved "Lily and the Octopus," Rowley was a new author to me...and what a triumph! NetGalley's own description of the "The Editor" as "a funny, poignant, and highly original novel" only scratches at the surface as to how brilliant this book is.

    Through my own reading of it, I felt it isn't so much a story about
    Katie McCluskey
    Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    James Smale is a writer in 1990s NYC. Little does he know that his editor will turn out to be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was drawn to James’ manuscript about his struggling relationship with his mother.

    As the story unfolds, we see a relationship blossom between James and Jackie. Jackie becomes a guiding force who encourages James to dig deeper - to give more depth to his mother. In doing so, James must confront his relationship with his mother, who disapproves of the novel.

    It was so fun to
    Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
    3.5 stars.

    I read and really loved Rowley's previous book, Lily and the Octopus, so I was looking forward to reading this. I know some people are big fans of Jackie Onassis but I knew very little about her and wasn't sure this book would be interesting enough. In fact, I had no idea she's been an editor for many years, so I wasn't sure if the author had made up that premise. Apparently, he did not.

    While some of the color added by the Jackie bits were fun, to me, what made the book enjoyable was
    Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I loved this book. I was a little leery of a book about getting published, but I loved Lily and the Octopus so I decided to give it a chance. As a librarian I sometimes feel as I do nothing but read about books and the book industry, but this was a fresh take on the whole process.
    What would you as a writer struggling to get your first novel published do if your editor turned out to be one of the icons of the twentieth century? Steven Rowley does an outstanding job of not only portraying the str
    Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc
    This book, just like Steven's first book Lily and the Octopus, was just such a gem. The writing was so beautiful, honest, poignant, funny and really got to the heart of a relationship between mother and son. I had no idea that Jackie Onassis worked as a book editor later on in her life, so that aspect of the book was so fascinating to me. I can't even imagine how it would feel to be publishing your first novel and for Jackie O to be your editor. The relationship between James and Jackie was so h ...more
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    In Steven Rowley's new novel, his main character, James writes a novel about his family, in particular his relationship with his mother. The editor who decides to take him under their wing is none other than former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis. The book focuses on James' relationship with his family, a family secret as well as his interactions with the former first lady. This book was well written but was a bit slow moving at times. I did not like it sadly as much as his first book, but ...more
    The Editor is a remarkable story of soon-to-be debut author, James Smale, and the growing maternal friendship he finds in his new editor, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Business aside, she helps him come to terms with his growing up, his complicated relationship with his mother, and the emotional unraveling of a family scandal. Even the small moments that Rowley writes charmed me endlessly, the way James observes the world and comes into himself, even in his thirties. Absolutely beautiful, not ...more
    Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
    This book was very witty and enjoyable. Jackie emerges as a fascinating, self-reliant, funny character. The story is light and funny, yet revealing and meaningful. I absolutely loved the tone and also loved the portrayal of the mom. You usually don't read such compelling and honest portraits of moms in novels.
    Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    I really thought when I started that it took place in the present day and they brought Jackie O back to life. Once I got t hst straight, a quick read about a writer struggling with his first book, a fictionalized account of his and his mother's relationship. Jackie O is his editor at Doubleday in the 90's, before she passes away. Great book about mother-son relationships.
    Jean Brown
    Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
    4 Stairs an ARC to be published April 2, 2019
    Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    It scared me a little when Jackie O appeared as editor. I was afraid I was in for some fan/groupie/star struck nonsense. But not at all. Well written and just twisty enough.
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    Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, which has been published in nineteen languages and is being developed as a major motion picture by Amazon Studios. He has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

    His new novel, The Editor (G.P. Putnam'
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