book reviews / books / love story

Wednesday Weekly

The Bookstore

By Deborah Meyler


Hi again! I have been busy reading away. Work has been slow so we have been sneaking out early!! More time to read!!!

This another e-galley from Netgalley that I obtained for a fair and honest review. This book was released in 2013 by Gallery Books.

A witty, sharply observed debut novel about a young woman who finds unexpected salvation while working in a quirky used bookstore in Manhattan.

Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.

Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa.

The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene?

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.

This book gives us real life characters: the good, the bad and the ugly. Esme finds herself making difficult life choices. She is a likeable girl though and I was pulling for her all the way. Esme is hopelessly in love with Mitchell from the start, but will she wise up and make good decisions?

Esme is a good person inside and out, but a little naive at the start. Esme grows throughout this book and finds a new family at the bookstore, full of people that she comes to count on. I was disappointed that her real family played such a minor role in the book. She seemed to have minimal contact with them.

This book was okay, light contemporary reading. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.



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