Book Review: How to Find Love in a Bookshop

how to find love in a bookshopHow to Find Love in a Bookshop
by Veronica Henry
Contemporary Fiction
340 pages
Published 2016

From the title, you’d think this is a love story – and it kind of is – but not a traditional one. We don’t have a center couple with side characters, and the plot doesn’t revolve around their misunderstandings. No, the main character here is Emilia Nightingale, entrusted with her late father’s book shop, and the romance is with the town. There are several side characters, and while Emilia does get a romance, it’s the side characters’ love lives that we spend the most time with. We have the heiress to the local estate and her devoted gardener, the property developer’s minion and his estranged wife, the housewife longing to be a career woman again and her career husband who wants to stay home, the shy but sweet chef and the cheesemonger. (That one’s my favorite! Bonding over books and food? Girl after my own heart!)

The main conflict in the book comes from the financial straits of the bookshop and Emilia’s efforts to stay afloat – everything else revolves around that. We dip back in time to Emilia’s father’s life to learn about the founding of the shop and his own romances, which helps us see how some characters are emotionally invested in Emilia and the current status of the bookshop.

This is a sweet, gentle book that’s perfect for a rainy day and a cup of tea. Combining characters who love books, the enchanting magic of a good bookshop, and the (mostly) serene atmosphere of a quiet English village, the book is just cozy and comforting and I absolutely loved it.

From the cover of How to Find Love in a Bookshop:

The enchanting story of a bookshop, its devoted new owner, its loyal customers, 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 regulars 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 stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years; now it 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, 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, 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 community whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

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