We live in a world filled with reality television that pushes unrealistic expectations into our everyday lives. I dare you to ask someone even just the name of a reality show they have heard of and I would be willing to put money on it that they would be able to name at least three with minimal thinking. So, I ask, can you?
Recently I picked up a new book, by a new debut author whom I late discovered is also local to me as well, Meghan Maclean Weir. She has created a novel that dives into the lives of the Hicks family with a focus on the youngest daughter Essie. She was raised in a family with a father who is an Evangelistic preacher and a mother who is the mastermind behind the families hit reality TV show Six for Hicks.
Essie is seventeen, intelligent and seems to be an obedient well-mannered teenage girl. Although, Essie has one big secret. She is pregnant. She devises a way to let her mother know without having to outright say it to her, they have a very different relationship then many mothers and daughters. Her mother and their PR team decide that she only has a few options. An abortion, if it were to get out would devastate the show and viewers. It goes against all the family has preached throughout their long running series. They determine that a marriage would be the best solution to the situation.
This is the decision Essie would want. She then is able to gently manipulate the situation, so she is able to marry a specific boy she attends school with. Roarke is a year older, also graduating that coming year, but Essie knows of his family’s financial troubles. She uses this as a way to allow her mother to negotiate the potential marriage. A deal to get Roarke’s family out of their financial slump, but is it seems to be out of the blue to all around them.
With secrets that are brewing while Essie and Roarke begin to ban together in their mission to escape both their families this book has an ending that I never saw coming.
A beautifully written debut novel by Weir, The Book Of Essie brings to light the inside look at how secrets and lies can be glossed over with the lights and cameras of reality television.
The Book of Essie
Book of the Month June 2018