The eponymous heroine, Nina Hill, works in an independent bookshop, runs book clubs for various age groups on different days of the month and has a serious planning OCD; her life has to be meticulously organised. She is happy in her shell which consists of her work space, her small apartment, her cat and her trivia quiz team. Her mother, a globe trotting photographer, puts in an appearance occasionally via telephone. Her father is non existent, being a person her mother had always refused to talk about. But Nina is fine with that.
Into this rather contented life comes the information that her father, who lived in the same city (LA), had died and included her in his will, along with his children and grandchildren from his three wives.
From an introverted, only child Nina suddenly finds herself a member of a huge family. Some of her new relatives turn out to be quite welcoming but some are decidedly suspicious. And if that was not enough, she finds her life further complicated by a budding relationship with the leader of the opposing quiz team. Life is further thrown out of gear for Nina because when you work in an independent bookstore, inevitably it threatens to close down as, surprise surprise, it is not making any money.
The rest of the book is all about how one woman with anxiety issues and a passion for planning is forced to deal with the uncertainties flung in her way.
For a reader the enjoyment comes from all the references to other books and the lighthearted, conversational style of writing usually applied in books written in the first person. Waxman manages to make it work really well here even in the third person. We were amused to see the constant references to Harry Potter, a series that has become so much a part of popular culture. The references are even made by characters who have not read the books.
A fun and quirky book to read as a filler in between, perhaps more serious, books. It remains to be seen if anything about it is memorable a year down the line.