“Who is Maud Dixon?” This title sums up the whole premise of the book. It is hard to write a review without spoilers, but this is my best attempt. Maud Dixon is the pseudonym of a best-selling author, but her true identity remains shrouded in mystery. Enter Florence Darrow, small town girl with big city dreams of being a published author. Helen Wilcox, the person hiding behind the “name,” needs an assistant. Working for “Maud Dixon’s” is Florence’s ticket to literacy success, or so she thinks. Florence settles into a routine, but she is not getting valuable literary tips from Helen who herself is struggling to write a second novel as successful and marketable as the first. Florence is sure she could write as well if not better than the fictional “Maud Dixon.” Of course, readers know that things are just not going to go well when Helen decides to take Florence to Morocco for “local color and inspiration” for book two.
Alexandra Andrews structures the story with a measured pace that includes details about each woman as well as information about writing, publishing, lies, and fabricated identity. “Maud Dixon” is certainly convenient as an identity, but lies are very easy to tell and very hard to undo. The pace increases as events careen out of control, and a career in writing is about to crash and burn, literally. It is time to give life an upgrade; however there is no reward if misdeeds end in the disintegration of everything and everyone.
“Who is Maud Dixon?” is about finding a story to tell. If you as a writer do not find a story, a story might find you. If it is not the story you want, you might just have to have to change your reality. “Who is Maud Dixon?” is quick to read and ends with one BIG surprise after another.