How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a new release from Penguin Group, and I was excited to receive an advance reader copy from them in exchange for an honest review. The title of this book was enough to get me intrigued. I love books about books and bookshops! Past favorites of mine have included The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.
I had hoped to add How to Find Love in a Bookshop to this list. It is about a woman, Emilia Nightingale, who is grieving the loss of her father, Julius, a bookshop owner. As Emilia tries to heal, she becomes involved in the lives of those around her, those who love the small town, the bookshop, and miss Julius. It sounded like a sweet read with a romantic twist, and I really, really wanted to love this book. But unfortunately, it fell short for me.
Let me start by saying that the writing was solid. The descriptions of the bookshop and the loft upstairs that Julius and Emilia called home for years made me want to disappear inside the book. The author’s love and appreciation of books resonates through the pages.
I think for me it was mostly a lack of being able to really get into the story. While the descriptions were vivid, I found myself unable to “latch onto” the main character, Emilia. I think this was because there were so many minor characters and every time I thought we would really explore Emilia’s story, the book either broke off into another character’s story or it flashed back to Julius’s story in the past. It was difficult to keep them all straight. Halfway through the book, new minor characters were still being introduced. For me, all characters should be introduced and developed to the point of remembrance once I’m halfway through a book. Unfortunately, that just didn’t happen for me here.
If you enjoy books about books, bookshops, people’s lives intersecting, and love stories, then you should pick up How to Find Love in a Bookshop and give it a try. I’ve read several reviews by readers who just loved this book. Just because it didn’t “click” for me doesn’t mean it won’t for you.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop is available now.
One of my favorite quotes from the book:
“It’s why I do what I do. There’s a book for everyone, even if they don’t think there is. A book that reaches in and grabs your soul.” – How to Find Love in a Bookshop
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