A Likely Story by Leigh McMullan Abramson

A Likely Story features unlikeable characters and a story with a story.


Since her childhood, Isabelle Manning has always admired Ward, her father and bestselling author. Her mother, Claire, has recently passed, and it has never been clearer that she was the glue that held them together.

Isabelle has always wanted to be a writer like her father but has not had the success she dreamed she would. Meanwhile, Ward is struggling to write his next novel and with the realization that he is not the hot commodity he once was.

One day, Isabelle comes across some shocking information that throws into doubt everything she thought she knew about her family.

Review of A Likely Story

This novel features multiple POVs, alternating timelines, and a story within a story. It’s also a slow burn. The big reveal doesn’t happen until around 100 pages in.

Exception for Claire, many of the characters were hard to like. Ward is a mediocre man who needs to be lauded by others to feel good about himself. Isabelle’s whole personality, initially, is merely to exist as Ward’s daughter. She’s also incredibly self-centred. Usually, I don’t mind reading about unlikeable characters. However, I’d prefer them to have some interesting qualities, which these two did not.

At first, I did enjoy the story within the story, but it lost steam part way through.

There are discussions on nepotism and Isabelle’s feelings of failure and insecurities as a nepo baby.

I did like how things eventually came together in the end, hence the three stars. Although this book didn’t completely work for me, it is getting high ratings from other reviewers, so you may have better luck with it than me.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now Available.

Thank you to Atria Books for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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For past reviews, click here.

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