This was the first – and definitely not the last – book that I read by Veronica Henry. This lady is so talented, so marvellous and I am a little sad that I did not discover her sooner!
How to Find Love in a Bookshop is Henry’s 15th novel and it is a warm, tender delight and completely treasured with book knowledge for a reader. I was drawn to this book the moment that I came across the front cover. The scintillating colours of the illustration of a bookshop were so alluring that I couldn’t help but purchase the book even before reading the blurb. And I have to tell you – I was not disappointed in the slightest. This book is an absolute treat for a book lover like me and it was even better than I had expected.
Although it screens the lives of a plurality of characters, Emelia, the daughter of the late-owner of the bookshop, seems to appear the dominant one. At least metaphorically. The story in itself does not hold one character as being the most eccentric and instead it shifts the spotlight from one book-lover to the next, from one passerby lured by the enchanting aura of ‘Nightingale Books’ to the next. Essentially the story uncovers the lives of a few central characters after the demise of the owner Julius; a kind-hearted, friendly and helpful man, positively influencing the lives of so many of his customers who became his friends over the years. This inkling reaches his daughter, Emelia’s heart when she has to hold the reigns of the shop after her beloved father has passed away.
Emelia is as warm and wonderful as her father, and a kindred spirit in her own. She grabs the leash of the shop and does not falter in her love for it, even in the slightest, although she momentarily lapses into periods of confusion as to how she is going to run the shop as the business that it is supposed to be.
From the first page the reader is embraced in a mutual love and adoration for books, comforting her with the knowledge that she is in the right place; reading words etched on yellow pages by an author who is as passionate about reading as she is about writing. The love for books and their ability to impact lives oozes on every page of this magnificent read and it doesn’t leave until the very last page, when Emelia bids farewell to the readers in her own tranquil manner.
As readers, we plunge in and out of stories uncovering layer after layer of characters who are all deeply connected to one another, and these plunges are calm and insightful as opposed to brash and aggressive as sometimes a novel telling multiple tales can be. This one moves as softly as a gently flowing river and as swiftly as the autumn breeze; kindling and refreshing its readers all at once.
I have to say that I absolutely loved the book recommendation lists that Henry attached to each character after certain chapters. The book suggestions were based on the personalities of her characters and did a wonderful job of giving the reader an insight into what the character is like as a reader. I gained so much knowledge of different books and now I have a whole list of books that I still have to purchase and I am super excited about it!
As for the technicalities; the prose is soft-flowing, descriptive and runs smoothly from page to page. Henry really is a bundle of talent and a joy to read for someone like me. I cannot wait to read her other books and delve into the beauty and magic that this one transported me to!
I know that normally I only quote from poetry books in my reviews of them as I like to point out what my favourite poem was (among many). However, I was so taken aback and touched by a particular passage in this book that I cannot stop myself from quoting it. Here is a reflection of every passionate reader’s view on the beauty, value and strength of books in their lives;
“Books are more precious than jewels. She truly believed this. What did a diamond bring you? A momentarily flash of brilliance. A diamond scintillated for a second. A book could scintillate forever.”
This passage kindled me in so many ways. It was like someone delved into my mind, extracted my deepest thoughts and wrote them down for me to read and appreciate. It was marvellous.
So the time to rate this book comes and I would rate it 4.75/5! The missing .25 is only because I am a complete romance fanatic and I really was hoping for something a little saucier to brew in Emelia’s romantic life. But overall, the book was a wonderful read and I would recommend it to all lovers of books! You will not regret this one!
Until next week my loves,