Bella Vista Chronicles, Book 3
From the publisher:
In this thought-provoking, wise and emotionally rich novel, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs explores the meaning of happiness, trust, and faith in oneself as she asks the question, “If you had to start over, what would you do and who would you be?”
There is a book for everything . . .
Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.
In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.
But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.
After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.
To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.
I loved this book. I’m starting with that because it is the third book of a series. I read the first two books and also loved them, but it has been about five years since those books came out. I read this new one and didn’t even realize it was part of a series. I went back and looked at reviews of the first two and it finally clicked.
I read a lot, although I admit I have not been reading as much as I normally do during this pandemic. Normal for me is about a book a day; for the past few months, I’ve been reading 3-4 books a week. I know for some people that would still be a lot, but it’s not for me. I am pointing this out because if you do the math, I’ve read well over a thousand books since the last book in this series came out. And that is my excuse for not realizing this book was part of that series!
Obviously, you do not have to read this series in order, or even have read either of the earlier books, although I do urge you to do so as they are truly wonderful. Those books are set in Sonoma, California in the wine country. This book starts there but when Natalie’s mom passes, she moves back to San Francisco and her home above the bookshop her mom ran. Her grandfather, “Grandy” which was a cute mashup of Grandpa and Andy, his name, still lives there as he ran the business with her mom. What Natalie doesn’t realize is that Grandy has been in serious decline in the past few months. He had recovered from a broken bone, but his mind seems to be going.
Natalie quits her job in Sonoma. She hated the job but loved the regular paycheck and benefits after growing up without those things. Owning a small business can be tenuous at times and Natalie comes to find out that the bookshop itself is in serious trouble. Natalie’s mom never let on what kind of financial mess she was in. Not to mention the building is in serious disrepair.
Enter Peach, the “hammer for hire” who her mom had asked to fix up the building. It is a time-consuming job, and an expensive one, but necessary. As Natalie spends more time with Peach, she realizes she is very attracted to him. But Peach has a daughter, Dorothy, who is a bookshop regular and a favorite, so Natalie assumes there is a Mrs. Peach somewhere. Turns out Mrs. Peach has left her husband for another man, and things get even more interesting between Peach and Natalie.
There is another subplot going on at the same time. The building that houses the bookshop is quite old and was one of very few that survived the big San Francisco earthquake. As the repairs go on, Peach starts finding things hidden in the walls. A vase. Some old army medals. Natalie calls on her friend Tess to evaluate the items and find their provenance. Grandy always said his father told him there was treasure hidden in the bookshop, and it turns out he was right. And a happily ever after is achieved in a few different ways.
This book was a lovely escape and I highly recommend it.
7/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs. William Morrow (July 7, 2020). ISBN 978-0062914095. 368p.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 at 8:00 AM and is filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.