Publisher Putnam, March 2022
With its inside-out look at the romance genre, NORA GOES OFF SCRIPT is a love story aimed at the legions of women who do not normally read romance novels, offering instead a story that proves that real life throws far too many curveballs to be captured in cookie cutter romances.
The novel opens after successful Romance Channel screenwriter Nora Hamilton’s narcissistic, ne’er do well husband ghosted her, leaving her with the 100-year-old house and two young bewildered children. Alone in her writing studio, a tea house at the back of her property, Nora begins to write a very different story, a true story, as she attempts to unravel the decidedly unromantic story of their marriage’s collapse. It comes as a shock to Nora when this downer script is quickly picked up as her first feature film, and stunned once again when Leo Vance, former “Sexiest Man Alive”, is cast as her feckless husband.
As so many of the scenes of her marriage’s disintegration take place in her tea house, the filmmakers find their ideal location right in her back yard. But once the shooting is over and the crew wraps up to leave, handsome middle-aged Leo seems to be having a crisis of his own. What happens between Nora, her two kids and Leo is sure to delight multitudes of readers, while launching novelist Annabel Monaghan on what is expecting to be a brilliant new career.
“Funny and good-hearted — a romance for romantics, a blending of the real and the deliciously unreal.”—Linda Holmes, author of Evvie Drake Starts Over
“Funny, heartwarming, dreamy—everything I crave in a Hollywood rom-com is right here. I loved it so much I had to read the ending twice—once to see what happened and again to savor it.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, author of The Chicken Sisters
“This perfectly-scripted love story left me feeling the way all the best romances do: filled with hope and the feeling that true love always wins. Nora Goes Off Script will be a reread, for sure.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost
“Hallmark meets Hollywood in this gorgeous, fast, and poignant read that will keep you invested from the second you pick it up. A book to savor!”—Abby Jimenez, USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone
“Annabel Monaghan’s first foray into women’s fiction is the book every one of us needs right now. This delightful, marvelously meta story will charm even the most cynical of readers. With her trademark wit and snappy dialogue, Monaghan has crafted charismatic characters that readers will want to befriend in real life. Nora Goes Off Script is that perfect combination of a wildly clever premise, a captivating cast, and enough heart to make all of us fall in love.” —Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two Family House and The Wartime Sisters
“If you read one funny, feel good, page-turning book this year, make it this one. With her signature humor and snappy dialogue, Monaghan’s absolute gem of a book keeps you guessing, turning pages and wishing the characters could walk off the page and come over for dinner. You don’t have to be a hopeless romantic to love this book. You just have to be ready for a story you don’t want to end.” —Lee Woodruff, author of Those We Love Most
“I absolutely love Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan. I love Nora. I love her voice. I love the romance. I love the pacing. I love that she’s a mum. I love it all.…It’s got the vibes of Beach Read by Emily Henry, with the escapist glamour of Hollywood. Absolutely nails the comedy, the romance, and the sparkle. My favorite read of this year, and soon to be yours!”—Lizzy Dent, author of The Summer Job
“Nora Goes Off Script is a pure delight – a spirited, funny tale of unexpected romance, small town family life, and a lingering houseguest who happens to be Hollywood’s leading man. Monaghan has written a heartwarming romcom for the slightly cynical, a crisp, witty novel that is wish fulfillment at its most satisfying and a joy to devour in one sitting.”—Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions
“With Nora Ephron-level wit and smarts, Annabel Monaghan performs something of a literary hat trick in Nora Goes Off Script. While sending-up the romance industry, she chronicles the very romantic (and oddly believable) love affair between a handsome film star and a divorced suburban mom and she turns tradition on its head. Because in this wise and funny novel, it’s the Hollywood hero who needs rescuing and a grounded single mom who saves the day. Nora Goes Off Script is sexy, heart-warming, and intelligent, and I loved it!” —Karen Dukess, author of The Last Book Party
“Filled with hopefulness, wit, truths, and tons of heart, Nora Goes Off Script is everything a reader wants in a charming and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy. I loved hanging out with Nora… her quirks and kids, her insecurities and triumphs, her near-misses and home runs, and I even missed her the day after I finished the book. Monaghan has written a page-turner till the very end with a twist I never saw coming.” —Susie Orman Schnall, author of We Came Here to Shine