Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge will host Maren Cooper, author of “A Better Next,” from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Aug. 17.

The event invites community members to gain insight on the author’s current publication as well as her future in writing.

“I’ll start with a short reading from the book, and then answer questions from the audience. A conversation is fun,” Cooper said. “And, of course, I’ll autograph books.”

A press release from Scout & Morgan summarized the story of “A Better Next”: “Jess Lawson, a 45-year-old health care consultant, wife, and mother has spent most of her adult life trying to nurture the ‘perfect’ life. As she prepares to be an empty-nester, she finds out her doctor husband plans to take a job on the other side of the country — without her. A smart, relatable story for every woman who’s gone bold to sort out her next chapter, ‘A Better Next’ shows how — with a little soul searching and a supportive circle of friends and colleagues — it’s possible to redefine happiness and establish a liberating, new normal at any stage of life.” .

“I was inspired to write a strong female character in the business world who has many personal and professional challenges,” Cooper said. “Blending a career, marriage and family is tough, and when dual careers collide in the high pressure world of health care, things can get complicated.”

Cooper has always been a reader and admirer of writers including Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Brian Freeman, William Kent Kruger and Faith Sullivan. It was that admiration that led her to the Loft Literary Center.

“I was always a reader and admired writers, but it wasn’t until several years ago that I started going to classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis,” Cooper said. “Slowly, I learned a bit more about the art and craft of writing, and started to do a bit myself and then I realized I had a book.”

While her passion for literature has motivated her to become published, it’s already landed “A Better Next” as a finalist for an award in the Women’s Literature Category.

“The International Book Awards named ‘A Better Next’ a finalist in 2019 in the category of Fiction: Women’s Literature/Chick Lit.,” Cooper said. “I describe the book as contemporary fiction and believe it appeals to women and men. It’s a character-driven story about a female protagonist who has to sort through challenges to get to her next chapter. The context of high-pressure health care adds intrigue to the story.”

While “A Better Next” is Cooper’s only published work to date, she’s already working on the next chapter in her career with the second draft of her next novel in hopes of making progress on it in the fall.

To follow Cooper visit or Maren Cooper on Facebook.

Scout & Morgan Books is located at 114 Buchanan St. N, Cambridge. For more information on the bookstore or for upcoming events, visit

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