“The Very Nice Box” tells the story of Ava, a woman dealing with significant grief who works as an engineer at an IKEA-like company (STADA). First off, Ava’s character is incredibly well-drawn and detailed. The reader will gradually get to know her as the story progresses…everything from her back story to her current life to her various quirks and character traits. She feels very much like a real person, and becomes more and more endearing as the story unfolds.
The actual story is also excellent. Ava’s world is populated primarily by co-workers and her beloved dog Brutus. With the introduction of a new boss, the authors successfully wreck havoc with Ava’s carefully structured life. In addition to personal drama, STADA itself is having issues, as a group of protestors is trying to halt progress on a new building. I felt like I was “with” Ava every step of the way as her relationships change and she works through past issues and deals with present changes. All along, I was invested in her happiness, and found I really cared about what happened to her.
The jacket cover promises a surprise, so I was trying to figure out what it was as I was reading. I was right about part of it, but I didn’t see other parts of it coming. I highly recommend this book….for the great character portrait, for the action, and for the fun of trying to figure out the twist.
Five out of five scrumptious chunks of pepper jack!