Bonus Standout Read: Miranda Writes by Gail Ward Olmsted
OK, I admit it. I am a Gail Ward Olmsted fan. I've read all her stuff and the last few she's written are awesome. When I first got into her, her early books were about women who were in a transitional phase in their lives and trying to figure those out. I loved Guessing at Normal and Second Guessing because of the rock star angles on those. That's what initially drew me in. Those two go together, as Second Guessing is the sequel to Guessing at Normal. Jeep Tour and Driving on the Left also go together, Driving is the sequel. Definitely all worthy reads. And then she jumped feet first into historical fiction with Landscape of a Marriage, which is the story of Mary Olmsted, who was the husband of Fred Olmsted--he was the architect who designed Central Park in NYC. (I learned later, through an obsessive Google dive, that Gail Olmsted is distantly related, by marriage, to Fred Olmsted. How cool is that??)
But I am not here to talk about those. Been there, done that. I am here to talk about her new one Miranda Writes. This one kinda goes back to the woman in transition story that Olmsted was into in her early books. Miranda is a disgraced prosecuting attorney. She was working on a high profile rape case and was *thisclose* to getting the book thrown at the rapist when her key witness skipped town never to be seen again. The whole case then unraveled and the rapist went free and then she got fired. While she was licking her wounds sleeping on her dad's couch she started a legal advice blog and then eventually a posdcast. Bit by bit she got more popular to the point where a TV network wanted her to star in her own daytime legal talk show.
So she's on her way to doing that when the rapist is back on trial for another rape. Then her key witness from back then randomly contacts her and wants to testify in the new case. Great! But then over the course of trying to protect her witness, even though she isn't even a prosecutor anymore, she gets caught up in some very public drama surrounding the new rape trial, her old "unreliable" witness, and everything that goes with that territory. While she's trying her best, as a civilian, to secure this witness she learns why the witness skipped town, and it's no bueno.
So, all of this is happening right in front of her new employers. So basically she is faced with the choice of sacrificing her fabulous future for doing the right thing to settle the past.
I will say that this was a quick read. I was interested the entire time. There was no saggy middle. Olmsted really did a bang up job with this one and you should totally purchase it here.
BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.
added on 11.07.22