It may have gotten lost in everything else that’s been going on, but Mothers’ Day is this weekend here in the US. This year, everything is a little trickier… most of us can’t take Mom to brunch or swing by with some chocolates. If you’re short on ideas, here are some bookish options to consider!
Looking through my past posts, I realized it has been over a year since I’ve published a Book Notes review! Since I just finished reading a heartwarming novel that I really enjoyed, there’s no time like the present to offer up a new one!
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay is a women’s fiction novel that I was fortunate enough to get from Net Galley last spring… and somehow I hadn’t read it until now! Here’s a description:
Books. Love. Friendship. Second chances. All can be found at the Printed Letter Bookshop in the small, charming town of Winsome.
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.
While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls.
When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best combined efforts may be too little, too late.
This was a very enjoyable story for me. As we followed the women through each of their struggles and changes, it was easy to see myself and people I knew in each of them. Having a teenager at home and facing an approaching empty nest and all the changes that brings to life, I found myself identifying with Claire a great deal, though I found the other characters relatable as well.
Reay gave us well written characters and a charming setting. The right balance was struck between wrapping things up at the end of the story, and still leaving a few threads of possibility open to be tugged.
The book is somewhat faith based from a Christian perspective, but it’s not heavy handed. I enjoyed the way faith and prayer were lightly woven in, particularly in one spot where a character has something of a spiritual awakening.
I’m always easily drawn into books about books, and this one was no exception. The Printed Letter Bookshop was a place that you could easily envision yourself getting lost in for an afternoon. Titles and lists of other books are scattered through the text like little Easter eggs, too, so it’s fun to make mental notes of a future read or remember one that you’ve enjoyed in the past.
Overall, this was heartwarming and relatable. As I said, I have my Net Galley copy but I think I’ll buy a paperback as well… this is one book that I could see myself re-reading in future years. If you enjoy a story about books, about women’s friendships, or about overcoming life’s valleys and reinventing yourself, this one’s for you!
The Printed Letter Bookshop
Also, if you read this, take note: Katherine Reay’s newest novel, Of Literature and Lattes, releases later this month and returns us to the community of Winsome! I can’t wait for this title to follow up with these characters and meet new ones. You can pre-order it now:
Of Literature and Lattes
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My thanks to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary digital review copy of this title. All opinions are my own.
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Hello, friends! It has been a while since my last update. In recent days, the whole world has been grappling with time, intentions, and priorities. The world we live in right now bears little existence to the one we were in just a few short months ago. And it gives us all the opportunity for thought.
How are we spending our time?
Are we making room for the important things?
When the hustle and bustle of life is cleared away, what’s left?
Remember me? It’s been a while, but I wanted to pop in and say hello to my bookish friends.
It’s been more than six months since my last post here, where I indicated I’d be taking a break from blogging. Several times, I almost posted, but I think deep down I knew I needed that time away. And a few times, I almost deleted the blog entirely… but I think deep down I knew I wasn’t totally done with it yet, either. 🙂
So, what now? Well, I have a few thoughts.
Friends, I wanted to share something with you. I’ve decided to step back from blogging for now, so The Biblio Blonde will be on hiatus for the forseeable future. The blog will remain online, so you’ll be able to access any previous posts or reviews, but I won’t be updating it with new content. I’ve also deactivated the Pinterest account and the Facebook page connected with my blog.
Sometimes, even an activity you love wears on you. Between writing, promoting, and reading books on a schedule, I started feeling a little burnt out. When I recently reminded myself that I “should read” it was a bit of a revelation… since when did reading become work? So, it was time to set aside some pieces of my book life that were bringing more stress than enjoyment.
I’m hopeful that after some time away, I can come up with a way to do this that preserves joy, and return with renewed energy and fresh ideas. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram or Goodreads, as I will still be posting on those accounts. (Links below, or you can access them through the feeds in the sidebar or footer.)
Thank you for your support over the past year… I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many writers and book lovers. I wish you all the best and hope to see you around the community… as always, happy reading!