Summary (from Goodreads):
“Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene’s life hasn’t quite turned out as planned. She’s a single mom living with her daughter and her gay friend, Ahmad. Her PhD on Dante’s Vita Nuova hasn’t gotten her a job, and her career as a translator hasn’t exactly taken off either.
But then she gets a call from a Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet who insists she’s the only one who can translate his newest book.
Stunned, Shira realizes that—just like that— her life can change. She sees a new beginning beckoning: academic glory, demand for her translations, and even love (her good luck has made her feel more open to the entreaties of a neighborhood indie bookstore owner).
There’s only one problem: It all hinges on the translation, and as Shira starts working on the exquisitely intricate passages of the poet’s book, she realizes that it may in fact be, well … impossible to translate.
A deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances, Good on Paper is a grand novel of family, friendship, and possibility.”
This was a slow burn for me. It took a little while for me to get into it, but once I did, I fell so in love with these characters.
One note: these are not characters that you will particularly like. I cared about them and rooted for them, but these are still incredibly selfish people. Not bad, not at all, but people who aren’t particularly good, either. (In short, they’re basically just like most other people. They are deeply flawed and they don’t seem to improve.)
This is a book for English majors and for people who love poetry. (If this isn’t you, you’ll probably still enjoy the book, and it’s not like it’ll be over your head…but I think it’ll delight you more if those things apply to you.)