tasting ‘a note in the margin’

I had no intention to write a post this soon, but felt the need to after reading this book.

A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan

The Blurb:

John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he’s encountered one problem:

The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a ‘sea change’… Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time…

While John knows the doctor is right, he just can’t resign from the job he’s fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year’s leave of absence won’t interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner’s son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.

What John doesn’t expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John’s plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.

Why I bought it:

It’s about a gay bookstore owner. Of course, I picked it up. *grin*

Dislike/like (ending on a high note):

Dislike~ John was not particularly likeable at first and I wasn’t certain I was going to enjoy the book because I thought he was such a stupid git. However, his character grows as the story progresses and the reader comes to know and understand him.

Like~ Further to the above, Margins has excellent character development all round, in particular the complex protag that is David and the way he copes with his past and present in order to have a future with John.

Dislike~ I was a bit concerned about how soon John and David came together, especially with regard to David’s situation, but a large part of the book was about their day-to-day lives and how they worked to build a relationship together. I thought this was a terrific approach.

Like~ When I finished Margins, I felt privileged to have shared the journey with John and David. I think this was due primarily to the sensitive and thought provoking way the author dealt with the themes of homelessness, mental illness and personal growth.

So, what I think:

I really, really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes a meatier romance. I will definitely be reading more from this author.


‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in contemporary, isabelle rowan, m/m, tasting. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to tasting ‘a note in the margin’

  1. Jenre says:

    Oh good. I’m glad you liked this as I’ve just bought it.Mind you, we had such differing opinions on Picture Perfect that I’m starting to think this psychic thing we have going is on the wane. 🙂

  2. Sean Kennedy says:

    This is in my TBR pile, which is teeter-tottering.

  3. Tam says:

    Oh oh, why aren’t people reviewing some crap books so my list doesn’t keep growing. 🙂 Yeah, bookstore owners, probably since its my own personal fantasy are very appealing. I’ll definitely put it down as TBB.

  4. Kris says:

    *snort* Not my fault that you’re on a sugar diet, Jen. :)Hilarity aside; I really like this. It was something totally different. Very thought provoking.

  5. Kris says:

    If I hear on the news that someone was severely injured due to a book collapse, I will know that it was you, Sean. *g*Inch it to the top of your pile, Sean. Tis very good… and set in Melbourne no less. 🙂

  6. Kris says:

    You found us out, Tam. We all got togther behind your back and decided only to review the books we really liked just to make your life unbearable during your book buying hiatus. Nothing to do with the fact that you were so rude as to win two books at all. Enjoy. 🙂

  7. Sean Kennedy says:

    Hah, I’m so glad Melbourne is getting some love. But maybe I should be nice to Perth and make it a setting in some future story.

  8. Tam says:

    *blush* Yeah, what can I say, I had a horseshoe up my butt last week. 🙂 This week, not so much. Late for work because I couldn’t find my keys OR my phone. Oh yeah, its Monday. Did I mention the -20C windchill? Riiiight. Its almost April. ARRGGHHHH!!!!

  9. jessewave says:

    HeyI just thought I’d take a break and guess what I found? Your “taste” of A Note In The Margin. I’m halfway through this and so far I’m loving the writing and the story. This book is making me change a lot of my preconceived notions about the homeless. I hope to post my review on Thursday, so you can critique it then. :).

  10. Kris says:

    Why change now, Sean? *cheeky gs*If you were thinking about an AFL story (beneath you though it may be 🙂 ) in Perth some characters could be:- drunk player- druggie player- arrested player- car crash player- reformed player- connections to the org’ed crime player- surf-for-a-while-and-then-leave player- trotting horse owner player- greyhound owner player- pub or nightclub player- conservative, family man playerSooo many choices. Hee, hee.

  11. Kris says:

    Tam: Ouch!I’m having another Summer cold this week. Joy of joys. I sooo want this month to end. It’s been yuck!

  12. Kris says:

    Wave, I’ll look forward to it… the critquing of your review, that is. *g*It was very thought provoking. It really opened my eyes towards homeless people, and the relationship between D and J and the difficulties they faced was excellent.

  13. Sean Kennedy says:

    I still haven’t recovered from Ben Cousins being recruited to the Tigers. It made me want to go out and rip my sticker off my bumper.So, what I’m saying is, thanks for ripping the band-aid off that festering wound.

  14. Kris says:

    Welcome! *big, fat GRIN*

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