The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
The blurb: Idealistic and ardent, Esme Garland has arrived in Manhattan with a scholarship to study art history at Columbia University. When she falls in love with New York blue-blood Mitchell van Leuven, with his penchant for all things erotic, life seems to be clear sailing, until a thin blue line signals stormy times ahead. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he abruptly declares their sex life is not nearly transgressive enough, and ends it all.
Stubbornly determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore to make ends meet. The Owl is a shabby all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters, such as handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke and George, the owner, who lives on spirulina shakes and idealism. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her when Mitchell, glittering with charm and danger, comes back on the scene?
My review: I cast aside my initial doubts about this book and I’m jolly glad I did. It isn’t a trashy American romance novel, it’s a charming, life-affirming, book shop affirming wonderful novel that I was very sad to finish.
There were elements that caused me to pause, would such an intelligent character such as Esme end up falling for such an emotional retarded individual as Mitchell in the first place? This is an intelligent, street-wise and daring young woman (I doubt it’s an easy thing to relocate to the other side of the world to study) so she’s very easy to warm to.
But for me it’s the bookstore that’s the absolute gem in this novel. Meyler manages to create a space that any reader dreams of, a place to go and browse books, read the books without being troubled. Where they have every type of book you could ever dream of and a motley collection of staff that end up feeling like family. This is an utterly charming book and one I’ve highly recommended to all my book shop loving friends!
9 out of 10 stars! *********
BUY ME! The Bookstore