Aristotle "Aris" Thibodeau is 12 and a half years old and destined for greatness. Ever since her father's death, however, she's been stuck in the small town of Kanuga, Georgia, where she has to manage her mother Diane's floundering love life and dubious commitment to her job as an English professor, not to mention coparenting a little brother who hogs all the therapy money.
Luckily Aris has a plan. Following the advice laid out in Write a Novel in Thirty Days!, she sets out to pen a best seller using her charmingly dysfunctional family as material. If the mom character, Diane, would ditch online dating and accept that the perfect man is clearly the handyman/nanny character, Penn MacGuffin, Aris would have the essential romance for her plot (and a father in her real life). But when a random accident uncovers a dark part of Thibodeau family history, Aris is forced to confront the fact that sometimes in life - as in great literature - things might not work out exactly as planned.
How to Write a Novel is a brilliant satire of the modern family, at once endearing, hilarious, and bittersweet.