How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry – Review

Published by Orion

Publication date – 22 September 2016

Source – review copy

isbn9781409161608-detail

“Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for booklovers.

But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous – but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers.
Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye?

Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems…

And there’s Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?

How to Find Love in a Book Shop is the delightful story of Emilia’s fight to keep her book shop alive, the customers whose lives she has touched – and the books they all love.”

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book.

When her beloved father dies, Emilia Nightingale inherits Nightingale Books, a much loved bookshop, nestled in the Cotswold town of Peasebrook. There she makes new friends, unwittingly helping them with more than book choices. But when a situation arises that threatens the bookshop, can Emilia keep her promise to her dying father, and keep Nightingale Books open?

The thing I find about bookshops is how inviting they are. There is the anticipation of finding a new book to fall in love with, of new worlds to explore and often times the shop seems to radiate the comfort and warmth the books themselves can bring. Nightingale Books sounds like the ideal place to lose a few hours, wandering the shops and browsing the shelves, chatting to like-minded book lovers. Lots of people dream of owning their own book shop, I’m one of them, and to my minds eye, Nightingale Books is how I’d picture my bookshop.

The story itself is warm and comforting, easy to get wrapped up in. It’s the kind of book to curl up with on a rainy winter evening, or to read whilst lying in the sun. It is filled with a cast of characters that all add layers to the story. Emilia is a lovely character, depicted as kind, considerate and understandably conflicted by her desire to keep the bookshop and the struggle she finds herself in. Julius, Emilia’s father is also a wonderful character, depicted as he is in a few explanatory chapters and through the memory of the other characters. The bookshop itself is a character, and rightly so. It is the linchpin, where the inhabitants of Peasebrook meet, chat and discover new books, and perhaps new people, to fall in love with. There are some characters I would have liked to find out more about as there felt the potential to find out more about them for example Thomasina, the excruciatingly shy chef and Marlowe, the violinist, friend of Julius whose appearances seemed to just scratch the surface of his character.

There were parts of the story that could be considered predictable, the trial and tribulation that would lead to the conclusion but I found comfort in those, enjoying the journey the story took me on. The story was told with the right pace, with a variety of different characters to provide entertainment and lots of separate story strands that were brought together by the bookshop.

This book exudes the sentiments of a good bookshop I mentioned above, it is warm, inviting and fun. It is a story about love, literature and the celebration of stories and what’s not to love about that?

This is the first book by Veronica Henry I have read but I shall certainly be reading more from her in the future.

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