Just the Facts

Ellen Sherman
She Writes Press (2015)
ISBN 9781631529931
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (01/16)

“Just the Facts” by Ellen Sherman is a humorous and refreshing novel about Nora Plowright, a recent college graduate who gets a job as a reporter at the local newspaper in South Falls, MD. Nora is not your typical aggressive no-holds-barred kind of reporter, quite the opposite. She’s not always sure what questions to ask, or even how to investigate or dig deeper to find a story. No, Nora is more apt to embellish the facts due to her natural inclination to tell a great story. In spite of her naiveté, she gets a tip from a stranger about a possible scandal involving the Maryland State Highway Authority and the controversial placement of a new freeway. This scandal, and the constant pressure and expectations from her editor-in-chief will push Nora to the limits, testing her reporting skills as well as her life skills, as she struggles to figure out what she really wants to do when she grows up.

The big selling item in the story for me is the humor. I love the hilarity and absurdity of some of the situations Nora finds herself in while trying to get the scoop, and felt actual embarrassment over some of her bombed assignments! When she finally does get her big chance, she wants to take a back seat and stay out of the limelight! What kind of reporter does that? Her character was relatable, quirky and fun to follow.  I could easily see myself in some of the same situations, which caused even further amusement as I read.

I recommend “Just the Facts” by Ellen Sherman as a highly engaging coming-of-age story, filled with humor and just the right amount of drama to keep readers entertained from the first page to the very last. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more work from this author in the future!

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