The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone by Audrey Burges
Berkley Trade Paperback Original
January 24, 2023
Contemporary Romance; Magical Realism
The story: From her attic in the Arizona mountains, thirty-four-year-old Myra Malone blogs about a dollhouse mansion that captivates thousands of readers worldwide. Myra’s stories have created legions of fans who breathlessly await every blog post, trade photographs of Mansion-modeled rooms, and swap theories about the enigmatic and reclusive author. Myra herself is tethered to the Mansion by mysteries she can’t understand—rooms that appear and disappear overnight, music that plays in its corridors.
Across the country, Alex Rakes, the scion of a custom furniture business, encounters two Mansion fans trying to recreate a room. The pair show him the Minuscule Mansion, and Alex is shocked to recognize a reflection of his own life mirrored back to him in minute scale. The room is his own bedroom, and the Mansion is his family’s home, handed down from the grandmother who disappeared mysteriously when Alex was a child. Searching for answers, Alex begins corresponding with Myra. Together, the two unwind the lonely paths of their twin worlds—big and small—and trace the stories that entwine them, setting the stage for a meeting rooted in loss, but defined by love.
My Thoughts: I had no clue what I was going to be reading. A grown woman who sets up a dollhouse and shares it on her blog. What? But this book was so intriguing. Once I started reading, I could not stop. I needed to know what Myra was going to do next, but even more important what was going to happen in The Mansion. Which room would appear next? Which room would disappear? What accessories would change? Most importantly, why?
The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone is a quirky and unique story. I read in quickly and enjoyed every word. The story has magic, romance, and mystery. It is a story of healing, of new relationships, and of redefining yourself. This is Audrey Burges’ debut book and I look forward to more by her.
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Meet Audrey Burges (Taken from her website): Audrey writes novels, humor, satire, and essays in Richmond, Virginia. Her debut novel, The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone, will be released January 24, 2023, by Berkley/PRH. Her second novel, A House Like an Accordion, will be released in 2024 by Berkley/PRH. Two anthologies also feature her stories, including Embrace the Merciless Joy: The McSweeney's Guide to Rearing Small, Medium, and Large Children, and If That Mockingbird Don't Sing: Parenting Stories Gone Speculative.
Audrey has stories published or forthcoming in McSweeney's, Pithead Chapel, Cease, Cows, Lost Balloon, Into the Void, and numerous other outlets. Her work has been longlisted for the 2022 Wigleaf Top 50, as well as shortlisted in the SmokeLong Grand Micro Contest, the Slackjaw Humor Writing Challenge 2021, and the Fractured Lit Fractured Ghost, Fable, and Fractured Fairy Tale contest. Two of her stories placed in the 2020 Pen Parentis Fellowship for New Parents, and one received a Juror's Prize. You can also listen to her on the Greener Pastures podcast, which interviewed her about comedy writing in 2021.
You can find links to Audrey's writing on the Satire/Essays/Stories page of this site, as well as on the blog, and on Twitter at @audrey_burges. When Audrey isn't writing, she's being tolerated by her two rambunctious children and very patient husband.
Audrey was born and raised in Arizona by her linguist parents, which is a lot like being raised by wolves, but with better grammar. She moved to Virginia as an adult but still carries mountains and canyons in her heart, and sometimes, when she closes her eyes, she can still smell ponderosa pines in the sun.
The settings where she grew up inspire both her writing and her other hobby, sketching botanical illustrations she is currently gathering for a coloring book. Examples of her sketches appear throughout this site. Certain images are encaustic paintings, also by Audrey.
Early Praise for THE MINUSCULE MANSION OF MYRA MALONE:
“The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone is
a refreshing and unique entry into the genre of mystical
realism. Quirky and scarred yet very authentic characters populate this richly told tale of friendship, family, and timeless love.”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author
“This creative, engaging debut weaves together an unusual family legacy, a romance between two lonely souls, and a touch of magic in the form of a tiny mansion that seems to know what's best for everyone.” —Booklist
“This well-written novel with heart-warming characters is perfect for fans of magical realism by the likes of Sarah Addison Allen and Isabel Allende.”—Library Journal