Published by Sphere
Publication date – 11 February 2016
Source – review copy
A gorgeous, warm and joyful story from bestselling author Jenny Colgan, author of LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY, WELCOME TO ROSIE HOPKINS’ SWEETSHOP OF DREAMS and MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFE
Nina is a librarian who spends her days happily matchmaking books and people – she always knows what someone should read next. But when her beloved library closes and she’s suddenly out of a job, Nina has no idea what to do next. Then an advert catches her eye: she could be the owner of a tiny little bookshop bus, driving around the Scottish highlands.
Using up all her courage, and her savings, Nina makes a new start in the beautiful Scottish highlands. But real life is a bit trickier than the stories she loves – especially when she keeps having to be rescued by the grumpy-but-gorgeous farmer next door…
Nina finds herself on the brink of redundancy. She loves being a librarian, being surrounded by books and finding the right book for the right person. But redundancy brings Nina the opportunity to open her own bookshop. It just happens that the bookshop is in the back of a van. And the need for the bookshop is in Scotland, not Birmingham where she lives. Finding the courage she didn’t know she had, Nina moves to the highlands. But things don’t always go as planned.
Books about books have a special feel about them. Books celebrating the love of the literary, the joy of accessing books of all forms are a bibliophile’s boon. There was a lovely atmosphere to this tale and I was soon wrapped up in the lives of Nina and co.
I loved the idea of the bookshop, tootling around the local villages, taking in all of the beautiful scenery. Some of the books mentioned in the novel were so well described that I found myself looking them up to see if they were available to buy, only to find that they were created purely as part of this story.
The book is full of charming characters. Nina is lovely and as the story progresses the reader sees her rediscovering herself, finding strength, confidence and drive she wasn’t aware she possessed. The villagers are a lovely bunch and together with Nina’s friends bring humour and warmth to the story. Then there are Marek and Lennox, two men between whom Nina is torn. Both bring different qualities to the story. It is though Nina who drives the narrative.
A lovely, entertaining way to spend a few hours. I’ll be reading more by Jenny Colgan soon.
This was book 15 in my #20BooksofSummer challenge.
About the author
Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including The Little Shop of Happy Ever After and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jennycolgan.