How to Find Love in a Bookshop – Veronica Henry
Published by Orion
Ebook and Hardback : 16 June 2016 | Paperback: 22 September 2016
Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?
Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren’t just within the pages of the books she sells – Emilia’s customers have their own tales to tell.
There’s the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn’t quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .
And as for Emilia’s story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?
I’ve been a fan of Veronica Henry’s books since her early Honeycote days and was delighted to be invited to take part in the blog tour for the paperback publication of How to Find Love in a Bookshop, available from tomorrow. I could quite happily spend hours in a bookshop and the setting of this Cotswold bookshop – Nightingale Books, sounded so idyllic.
From the moment we are introduced to a young Julius Nightingale in the prologue I had the feeling that he was someone special. In difficult circumstances and with his baby daughter in tow, he transformed a dilapidated damp-ridden space into a bookshop and made it his life. When, over 30 years later, his daughter Emilia took over the bookshop baton, she had a struggle on her hands, both emotionally and financially. With a developer desperate for the property and circling like a vulture, I was desperately hoping that Emilia would find a way to keep this lovely bookshop open for business.
Veronica Henry has perfectly captured the very best of community spirit in this novel and also I suspect, the day to day concerns and difficulties of any independent bookshop owner. Julius was much loved in the village and it was wonderful to see how friends and neighbours rallied round to try and help. From the lady of the manor, Sarah Basildon, a woman keeping secrets of her own to her gardener Dillon keeping a concerned and watchful eye on the Basildon family, all the various personalities with their flaws and foibles are at the heart of the story. This was a delightfully warmhearted and engaging read with drama, romance and of course BOOKS – and made even more enjoyable by the diverse characters contained within. I was taken back to my childhood when Emilia handed Jackson a copy of Finn Family Moomintroll – one of my favourite childhood reads.
Another interesting touch was that some of the main characters had their own top 10 literary lists separating the chapters – Julius Nightingale – 10 Cult Classics; Sarah Basildon – Literary Country Houses together with book lists of music and food.
I loved spending time in Nightingale Books – I only wish I had a bookshop like this near me!
At the back of the book there is an Q&A with the author in which she mentions that although Nightingale Books is a combination of various bookshops that she has visited, one of the main influences was the window of Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, London. Along with many other book bloggers, I’ve been to Goldsboro many times and I can well understand why – the shop frontage has that ‘olde worlde’ charm that just entices you through the door.
My thanks to Elaine Egan and the publisher for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing a copy of the book for review.
About the author:
Veronica Henry began her career as a secretary on ‘The Archers’ before turning her hand to scriptwriting. She has written for some of our best loved television dramas, including Heartbeat and Holby City. She writes escapist fiction with an edge – A Night on the Orient Express won Romantic Novel of the Year in 2014. She had also written a Quick Read, called A Sea Change, and edited a collection of short stories called The Anniversary. Her fourteenth novel is How to Find Love in a Book Shop.