After the death of her bookstore owner father, Emilia has returned to her tiny English town to run the family business. While Nightingale Books is a book lover’s haven, it’s also struggling financially. Determined to keep her father’s dream alive, Emilia must find a way to reinvigorate the business while also dealing with the regular customers, whose lives intersect with Emilia’s own.
Very light, very frothy, and a bit romantic, Henry’s novel about a tiny English town and the book lovers who live there is a sweet little gem of a novel. With a robust cast of characters (who are hard to keep track of at times) and an interesting (if not totally riveting) plot, this is a book that will find fans, especially when put in the hands of total bibliophiles. As much about the characters as it is about the love of reading, Henry’s novel is a quiet little distraction from the chaos of everyday life.
There’s certainly not a whole lot of substance here, but there is a great deal of heart, which makes for a delightful read. Henry’s book has a very specific sense of place, and she loves her characters. The plot moves along at a good pace, making the turning of the pages quite easy, and while there’s definitely a happy ending for the book’s characters, the journey to get there is at times a bit bittersweet. There are perhaps too many characters for the book’s own good, and some of these characters are total stereotypes, but on the whole the book is a lot of fun.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry. Viking: 2017. Library copy.