Unscripted is an interesting mish mash of a novel. It doesn’t fit neatly into one genre and that’s part of its appeal. It’s one part romance mixed with one part thriller with a big dollop of self realization and personal growth thrown in for good measure.
The main character of the story is Libby, a mid twenties English teacher who’s obsessed with a character in an American TV show, and the actor who plays him (Thom). Her dream is to write a novel that is turned into a screenplay, that will cause her heartthrob to fall in love with her. OK, I hear you thinking, this all seems a bit weird and bunny boilerish, and that’s what I first thought when I started reading.
But actually the story is told through multiple viewpoints, including Libby, Thom and Libby’s best friend Dan. Through this, the characters really develop and you understand their back stories and motivations for the events that unfold. So Libby emerges not as an obsessed stalker but as a naive young woman, clinging on to a dream and facing the reality of it. Because Libby does make it to America, writing her screenplay alongside her beau. But does she get her happy ending? I won’t spoil it!
I enjoyed reading Unscripted; whilst it could have been a lightweight read, the depth of the characters and their fates was really engaging. I did find myself shouting at Libby (in my head) at times, but that was part of the charm of the book. You’re along for Libby’s ride too.
About the author
Claire Handscombe is a writer who grew up in London, Suffolk and Brussels and now lives in Washington, DC, all thanks to her obsession with The West Wing. She’s even self-published an anthology called Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives, and organised a mass fan meeting in Washington in 2018.
Claire has written extensively in French and English and Unscripted is her third novel. Her essays have appeared in many publications including the Washington Post, and writes regularly for publishing website Book Riot. You can find out more about Claire on her website, Facebook or Twitter.