A hilarious, multi-layered modern mashup of Don Quixote, Cold Comfort Farm, and The Thirteenth Tale, The Seductive Lady Vanessa of Manhattanshire is an ingenious must-read for fans of romantic fiction, literary satire, and books about books.
When a famous translator receives a mysterious manuscript from Cairo, she becomes dizzy with excitement. The book by the enigmatic Aisha Benegeli, The Seductive Lady Vanessa of Manhattanshire, spins the tale of Maxine More, a romance novel–obsessed New York school teacher who envisions herself as a Georgian Lady and sees the world entirely through the prism of her beloved books. Designating her cleaning lady Magdalena Cruz as her lady-in-waiting, Lady Vee embarks on a series of misadventures. She mistakes a man from Grey’s Plumbing for a famous alpha male; pursues her poodle-owning crush, Nelson Dodge; searches for aphrodisiacal nail polish; dispenses misguided advice to the lovelorn and goes man-hunting on New York’s Upper East Side. When the manuscript abruptly ends, the translator journeys to Cairo to find the concluding pages, which contain a stunning confession from Lady Vee’s creator Benegeli about her own romantic troubles—including a betrayal by her billionaire husband. As the author struggles to find happiness for her crazed character and herself, the translator desperately searches for the elusive writer. In the end, this delightfully inventive novel unspools three very different stories about three very different women, all in pursuit of happy-ever-afters.