The Bookshop on the Corner
Rating: 4.5 stars
This author had been recommended to me numerous times by a friend of mine. As she has rather excellent taste in books and a similar affinity for all things U.K. related, I decided to read The Bookshop on the Corner first. I really enjoyed this book, so much that I went out and bought a couple more by the author. It was a refreshing feel-good read that left me contented and happy. Sometimes I need a book that challenges me and leaves me slightly uncomfortable, but sometimes I need a book that leaves me feeling like everything is going to be ok. I needed exactly that when I read this book.
Like any successful feel good bildungsroman romantic comedy, this book had a a main character that was both engaging and obviously needed to break out of her rut. Nina is the reserved and shy main character; a devoted bibliophile librarian when more and more libraries are losing funding and switching to more digital-media based resources. When her small branch is consolidated, she loses her job and isn’t certain what to do. Nina’s character was charming to read. Her relationship with books and stories emanated from the page. Her relationships with the other characters was charming. There were two male interests as Nina rediscovered herself: the overnight train engineer Marek and her grouchy landlord Lennox. Both of these characters fulfilled their roles well. The romance was charming to read and the tension built nicely throughout.
This plot felt fun and engaging from the very beginning. I was swept away with Nina as she trusted her gut and went up to the Scottish Highlands and ultimately made the jump to live there, leaving behind a bustling city. Her relationships with the different characters and trying to run her mobile van bookshop predominated much of the plot. It was a romance, but it was as much about Nina finding herself and what she truly loves and cares about. The romance and building tension between her and Marek and her and Lennox didn’t crowd out her personal growth story.
I would suggest this book to anybody who enjoys books driven by female characters, books that take place in romantic rural environments, or books with feel-good romance. I loved this book. It will probably end up being one I buy to read again. With my current efforts to reduce my book buying only to books I really love, this is high praise. I would highly encourage reading this book if you want to read something that will make you feel good.