Julius Nightingale met the love of his life in Paris. She was an American, he was English, theirs was a quick, intense relationship. And then she got pregnant. Her family disowned her, and when she died in childbirth, they wanted nothing to do with her daughter. So Julius became a single father.
Julius opened a bookshop in a small, quiet town and lived above it with his daughter, Emilia. H truly loved books and helping people find books, and was soon beloved in the town. Emilia grew up in the bookstore, an avid reader, and when her father died, much too young, she decided to keep the bookstore going in his honor.
This small town had several interesting characters, and there were several subplots revolving around them, with the bookstore at their center. Sarah, who owned the largest estate in town and was unhappily married. Her daughter, who was planning her wedding. Their gardener, who was secretly in love with the daughter. Marlowe, a violinist who played in a quartet with her father, and his girlfriend. The cheesemonger, who has a bit of a crush on the high school cooking teacher. And more, all charming, all with their own stories.
Unfortunately, Julius was a wonderful bookseller but not a wonderful businessman. In another subplot, the business was in financial jeopardy, the building in need of serious repairs and updating. A slimy businessman in town who wants to buy the bookshop for its parking lot offers a solution, but Emilia’s father had repeatedly turned him down. A young mother offers marketing and design help.
This story weaves many threads into a beautiful and strong fabric. I loved these characters but I think there were too many to do them all justice. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book. Yes, I’m a sucker for any story revolving around a bookstore (or library) – occupational hazard, mea culpa. Enjoy it anyway. Once again Pamela Dorman comes through – I love her imprint.
8/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
HOW TO FIND LOVE IN A BOOKSHOP by Veronica Henry. Pamela Dorman Books (August 15, 2017). ISBN 978-0735223493. 352p.