The Decent Proposal

The Decent Proposal

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:

An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.

A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that's a woman, by the way).

At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as "La M#65533;quina" The Machine--to her colleagues, she's grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.

Richard and Elizabeth's paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. They'll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together--just talking--every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?

What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.

Publisher: New York : Harper,an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062391629
Branch Call Number: DONO
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 22, 2018

A pretty cliche story with a couple surprising moments of moving writing... but they're few and far between. It's fine, if you need a quick'll forget about it a week later.

Michael Colford Jun 22, 2017

Quick, fun read, Kemper Donovan pairs an impossibly, good-looking, Peter Pan of a man trying to make his mark at a Hollywood film producer, and a tightly-wound, Latina lawyer in an unlikely pairing orchestrated by a mysterious benefactor. For half a million dollars, Richard and Elizabeth are expected to meet and converse for one hour a week for an entire year. Never having met, the two couldn't be more perplexed, with Richard excited about the possibility of the half million dollars, and Elizabeth horrified by the prospect of having someone pull her puppet strings like this.

But the inevitable happens, and they two start their bumpy relationship, trying to negotiate their year-long agreement. As I mentioned above, it's a fun read, great summer, beach-fare, but not something that will change your life. Sucker that I am, I must admit I got a little choked up at one point near the end.

May 01, 2017

Not my favorite, but a solid first 'summer read' for 2017. A little bit floaty and dreamy, with a healthy dose of laughter and some very likeable characters, along with an interesting mystery that resolves well. All in all a satisfying read and a fun one, although the writing style wasn't quite my taste. Definitely recommended for those who like California-esque, fun, airy novels or those looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at FSPL

To Top