How to Find Love in a Bookshop
By: Veronica Henry
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Penguin Random House Audio ] Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary Women
Release Date: August 15, 2017
9 Hours and 48 Minutes
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart
Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers—a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.
There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage—she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.
Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future—and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish. http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/553174/how-to-find-love-in-a-bookshop/
The beginning of this story is tragic but then the story of this little bookstore and the community it helps create resumes on a happier path. The book got off to a rough start for me as I was a little disappointed by the sad start (prologue and first chapter), and that I didn’t get to see the any more of the character. It felt like an unusual way to start a book: “Here are characters, I will make you care about them and, then *Poof* they’re gone. Sure everyone loved them both but we’re not going to tell you their stories.”
I also felt some of the backstory didn’t really have much bearing on the rest of the tale as we never even hear about the characters again; and the lack of influence of these characters and events is unlikely.
I do wish there had been more of the character most central to all the others.
If the story has a moral I think it is that you are not going to fall in love with anyone, meet friends, or find community at “BooksOnline.com.” If you have ever enjoyed spending hours in a book shop perusing the shelves and having a lovely cup of tea, then this charming story about a small town bookseller will be right up your alley.
There are a lot of characters whose lives are influenced by the shop, the owners, and books — preaching to the choir as I already believe books can truly influence every reader. It is a good argument for physical bookstores. But there are so many characters I felt the character and romantic development was diluted by all of them.
Nevertheless, it’s a nice story in the quiet way of lovely British stories. And Fiona Hardingham does a very nice job reading it. The characters were well voiced and consistent, and her pronunciation, phrasing and tone were all spot on.