Posted in Book Notes, Reading Life, Reading List, Uncategorized

Book Notes: Review of “The Printed Letter Bookshop” by Katherine Reay

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!

 

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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!

 

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The Printed Letter Bookshop

Amazon   ~   Barnes & Noble

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:

 

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Of Literature and Lattes

Amazon   ~   Barnes & Noble

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.

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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Book Notes Review_ The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

 

 

Posted in Reading List, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday (4/17/2019)

Hi, bookish friends!  Do you ever go through stages where you have all the books in the world to read, but just don’t get around to much reading time?  There’s been a lot going on here, plus I’ve been spending more time building up some of my social media accounts!  This is how most evenings go:

Me:  I really want to finish this great book, and I have three more I want to start, and I have a good chunk of free time tonight!

Also me:  Gets on Twitter or Bookstagram for “just a few minutes” and surfaces three hours later.  Oops.

Even so, I do have a few reading updates… so let’s do a WWW Wednesday!

Continue reading “WWW Wednesday (4/17/2019)”

Posted in Book Notes

Book Notes: Review of “One Summer in Paris” by Sarah Morgan

Last month was all about mysteries and suspense here at The Biblio Blonde! While those are perennial favorites and I’ll be reading plenty more, I took a little detour into Women’s Fiction last week.  And what a lovely journey it was!

A friend of mine posted a quote on social media today that is an old favorite of mine:

 

The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships, where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world.

 

I love these words!  The timing was perfect, because I think it perfectly describes the book I’m about to share with you!

 

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One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two women who, on the surface, couldn’t be more different.  Here’s a description:

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely… until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them…

 

Grace and Audrey come from different countries, different backgrounds, and different generations.  But a chance encounter on the street in Paris brings them together, and changes the course of the summer for both of them.

I really enjoyed this novel!  The story itself was terrific, but what really made this a good read for me were the characters.  The author did a magnificent job of building a background for each woman and bringing each to the point where they find one another.  The bond that develops between Grace and Audrey is magical, and proves that family is where you find it.

As a forty-something woman who has been married over twenty years, I found Grace in particular rather relatable:  her insecurities, her routines, her impending empty nest.  Now, I don’t know if I would have made the same decisions she did… at many moments, I found myself wondering: is that would I would have done?  Sometimes, the answer was no.

Audrey, too, was well written and interesting.  And I enjoyed the development of both women, and seeing how things changed for them over the course of the book.  And Mimi?  Grace’s elderly grandmother was absolutely charming… and she was keeping some secrets of her own!

This story was, in a word, delightful.  It’s a beautifully written tale of broken hearts, fresh beginnings, and fierce female friendship.  I love finding new authors to enjoy, and I’ll definitely be reading more of Morgan’s work.

Five fierce stars for this one… I highly recommend One Summer in Paris for a heartwarming, lovely read!

 

Find “One Summer in Paris” here:

Barnes & Noble     Amazon

I hope you have a delightful book in hand as well!  (If not, pick this one up!!)

Happy reading!!

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.

My thanks to Net Galley and Harlequin for a complimentary digital review copy of this title.  All opinions are my own.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on LovelyAudiobooks.info