Six months ago, Alex Moore is stuck in a dead-end job and surviving life more than actually living it. Then she wakes up with a brilliant idea for a business and suddenly, it’s as if every doubt she’s ever had about herself is gone. She’s become a supercharged version of herself, and creates an incredibly successful company from the ground up. Except her stratospheric rise is actually a symptom of something gone wrong with the way the world is set up, and when she is invited to the Orkney Islands for a research project, she realizes her recent experiences have far-reaching implications for the lives of many other people.
The Charmed Life of Alex Moore has a fascinating concept, and Molly Flatt has a lovely storytelling style. It did take me a while to get into the story — the somewhat frantic events of the first few chapters felt a bit disjointed and there was a lot of exposition that didn’t really make me connect to Alex at all. Still, once she gets to the Orkney Islands and the author reveals why Alex was brought there, things get a lot more interesting and all the disparate bits feel more cohesive.
I won’t go into detail about what’s going on at Orkney Islands, as I don’t want to spoil the reveal, but I will say that I think it’s a beautiful way of looking at life. And the idea that there are people like the Orkney Island residents who do what they do is also beautiful. At the risk of giving too much away, I admit that this bit of world-building appealed to my book-loving heart.
Where the book does fall short for me is near the end. A romantic subplot is introduced that perhaps the author had been building towards all along but that just felt really random to me. Alex also makes a decision at the end that, okay, I can kinda see the hints the author built in earlier, but also still felt disappointing to me, given the way the rest of the story was set up.
Thank you to Publisher’s Group Canada for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.