Review: The Moment of Everything by Shelly King


Title: The Moment of Everything

Author: Shelly King

Published: Grand Central Publishing: Hachette September 2014

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from September 05 to 07, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

A charming, witty and romantic novel, The Moment of Everything is an engaging debut from Shelly King.

Unemployed, after being made redundant by a Silicon Valley tech start-up, Maggie Duprès spends her days reading bodice rippers in the Dragonfly Used Bookstore, owned by her landlord and friend Hugo, waiting for a fresh start. She imagines it will come from an offer to join a new start up or an opportunity brokered by her best friend, Dizzy, instead, Maggie discovers it in the margins of a tattered copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The Moment of Everything is about love, loss and finding your own truth. It is an entertaining story, with occasional bittersweet moments and a real warmth and honesty.

Love is a complicated concept for Maggie, being aware of her father’s affairs and her mother’s seemingly blind devotion and acceptance, she is cynical about romance and relationships. Meeting Rajhit, and falling hard for him, distresses her because she is always waiting for the betrayal she believes to be inevitable.

“I think I’d always been scared of what love meant in my life because I was afraid of it controlling me, of what I would have to give up for it.”

Maggie knows what she doesn’t want – a marriage like her parents or to work in a bookstore. She thinks she wants a casual, fun relationship and the status and wealth of a career in high tech. It is only when she decides to make the Dragonfly profitable while waiting for ‘the’ job that she discovers that the store is exactly what she needs, and only when she nearly loses it all, what she really wants, what will make her happy.

“I’ve always thought…that the moment right before you get what you want is often better than when you actually got it.”

Of course as a bibliophile, the setting of the novel holds enormous appeal. The Dragonfly offers everything beloved about second hood bookstores from the chaotic, musty stacks to the eccentric staff and quirky patrons, with a grumpy cat thrown in for good measure. It seems an obvious cliche but King infuses the Dragonfly with life and warmth and I would love to join Maggie, Hugo and Jason sprawled in the battered armchairs positioned in front of the window.

“The kind of people who come to the Dragonfly don’t just own books, they need them, crave them, find it impossible to breathe without them. They come because they are in love with the store itself, with its handled wares and their untold takes. They come because they are wondering about about the people who owned all these books before. The come because the people whose paths they cross are like the books they find, a bit worn around the edges, waiting for the right person to open them up and take them home.”

Well crafted with engaging characters and a heartfelt storyline, The Moment of Everything is a captivating novel I’d readily recommend.

The Moment of Everything is available to purchase from

Hachette I AmazonUS I BookDepository I IndieBound

In Australia via Booko

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lloyd Russell
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 13:50:18

    Shelleyrae, Shelly King is a Northern California author who just had her launch last week (I was there). She is also going to be our October Recycle Bookstore author. I’ve seen her quite a few times and like her a lot. I will pass on your review to her.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Lisa
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 00:23:59

    Sounds like my kind of book! I’m so glad to read your review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Patty
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 01:25:15

    I love love love books like this…what could be better than a kitty on the cover?



  4. craftybooksheeps
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 06:13:37

    Oh my goodness I love the cat on the cover! Makes it so priceless! The books sounds like a great read too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I really like the quotes you included!

    Liked by 1 person


  5. angrygreycatreads
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 11:36:50

    I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Awards – blogging awards given to bloggers by bloggers. Find info here: Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Debbish
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 12:41:47

    Sounds interesting! I’m almost tempted… despite the romance thing! 😉



  7. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 12:04:42

    I just added this to my wishlist. Your review makes me want to grab a copy now. 🙂 Sounds like my kind of story and I adore the cover – books and cats, my kinda cover. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Teddyree
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 19:40:02

    Wonderful review, I’ve just added it to my wishlist. Love the author’s inspiration for the novel and of course the setting … oh yeah!

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Greg
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 00:59:37

    I’ve been thinking of this one, so it’s great to see such a positive reaction. I’ll be picking this one up , looking forward to it. That bookstore sounds like a place I’d love to hang out… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  10. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 21:18:00

    First time I’ve come across this title – sounds excellent – going on my wishlist.



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