Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Audiobook Length: 11 hours and 4 minutes
First Published: 2018
The stars of a conservative Christian reality tv show, the Hicks family is thrown for a loop when their youngest daughter Essie becomes pregnant. As they quietly try to arrange a marriage, Essie secretly pulls the strings to direct her family toward Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with his own secret. As Essie uses an exclusive series of interviews with journalist Liberty Bell to reach out to her estranged sister, she must decide how far she is willing to go for her freedom.
The Book of Essie is an addictingly binge-worthy read with its ripped-from-the-headlines style in which you can spot elements of real news stories pieced together. Although the twists are predictable and you could probably guess the ending from the beginning, you still won’t be able to put down this dishy read. Mixing conservative Christianity with reality television, The Book of Essie centers around a girl sick of hypocrisy and willing to risk anything to burn it all down.
Esther Ann Hicks—Essie—is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. So when Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she immediately arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers. Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage—and a ratings-blockbuster wedding?
Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their love story to the media through exclusive interviews with the infamously conservative reporter Liberty Bell, Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?
Quotes from The Book of Essie
It’s men who trust they will suffer no consequences for their actions, while women suffer no matter what they do.
People are funny that way. They remember only what they want to and manage to forget the rest.
But everyone, to some degree or another, if they are being completely honest with themselves, is selfish way down deep.
About Meghan Maclean Weir
Meghan Maclean Weir was raised in the rectory of her father’s church in Southbridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of the memoir, Between Expectations, and the novel The Book of Essie. Weir is a pediatrician who currently lives in the Boston area. Visit the author’s website →