“Imagine if Patricia Highsmith had written The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and instead of heroic daydreams she gave her protagonist murderous ones—that would be Bookworm. Robin Yeatman’s story is subversive, surprising, and satisfying in a way that only the best comic noir can be.”—Claire Oshetsky, author of Chouette
A wickedly funny debut novel—a black comedy with a generous heart that explores the power of imagination and reading—about a woman who tries to use fiction to find her way to happiness.
Victoria is unhappily married to an ambitious and controlling lawyer consumed with his career. Burdened with overbearing in-laws, a boring dead-end job she can’t seem to leave, and a best friend who doesn’t seem to understand her, Victoria finds solace from the daily grind in her beloved books and the stories she makes up in her head. One day, in a favorite café, she notices an attractive man reading the same talked-about bestselling novel that she is reading. A woman yearning for her own happy ending, Victoria is sure it’s fate. The handsome book lover must be her soul mate.
There’s only one small problem. Victoria is already married. Frustrated, and desperate to change her life, Victoria retreats to the dark places in her mind and thinks back to all the stories she’s ever read in hopes of finding a solution. She begins to fantasize about nocturnal trysts with café man, and imaginative ways (poisoned pickles were an inspired choice in Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres) of getting rid of the dread husband.
It’s all just harmless fantasy born of Victoria’s fevered imagination and her books—until, one night, fiction and reality blur and suddenly it seems Victoria is about to get everything she’s wished for . . . .
Robin Yeatman is a shameless bookworm born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Educated in Canada and England, she trained as a broadcast journalist and worked in radio for roughly a decade. After a dozen years in Montreal, she now lives in Vancouver. Bookworm is her first book.
"Imagine if Patricia Highsmith had written The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and instead of heroic daydreams she gave her protagonist murderous ones—that would be Bookworm. Robin Yeatman’s story is subversive, surprising, and satisfying in a way that only the best comic noir can be." — Claire Oshetsky, author of Chouette
"Yeatman’s debut is compelling and highly readable, diving into Victoria’s authentic and sometimes twisted mind. Victoria is relatable as she considers actions many of us have thought about but would never carry out. Fans of Peter Swanson and Samantha Downing will devour this book, and those who enjoy a good domestic-suspense novel will find a fresh take here." — Booklist (starred review)
“A book-club-perfect dark comedy.” — People Magazine
“Bookworm is catnip for a book critic—it’s a shiny gift with a big bow; it’s free shrimp; it’s your tenth cup of coffee on the card so you order the most decadent and least coffee-like thing on the menu.” — LitHub’s Crimereads
“A wickedly funny debut novel—a black comedy with a generous heart that explores the power of imagination and reading—about a woman who tries to use fiction to find her way to happiness.” — Fresh Fiction
"This dark comedy was made for voracious readers who keep up with all of the latest literary drama . . . . Full of tongue-in-cheek literary references, morbid fantasies, and Walter Mitty–esque dream sequences, this sardonic and subversive novel is full of kooky surprises." — BuzzFeed