3.5 stars. If you’re looking for something sweet and light without being overly cheesy, this may be the book for you. I was suffering from a bit of a book hangover after tearing through the Lady Sherlock series and just wanted something easy and fun that would be quick to get through. Veronica Henry delivered! Her story of a little English town and its bookshop was exactly the thing I needed.
The story centers on Emilia who comes home to her ailing father to be with him as he passes away. He was the owner of Nightingale Books and a much loved member of the community. Emilia promises to take on the bookshop and keep it going, but it turns out to be a much harder promise to keep than she thought it would be. The store is deeply in debt and lots of changes need to be made for it to become profitable again. Luckily, Emilia is surrounded by talented people who loved her father, the bookshop, or both. The story is as much about finding community as it is about saving a bookshop and finding love in the process.
I enjoyed that although we mostly followed Emilia, we got a few other perspectives from townspeople. There’s shy Thomasina who loves books and food; Sarah, owner of Peasebrook Manor and secretly loved Emilia’s father; and Jackson, a man trying to reconnect with his family through books and also get ahead in life. There are even a few more and I enjoyed each person’s perspective. I think the danger of multiple perspectives is that you will inevitably not like one or two, but I never felt disappointed when the narrator changed.
There’s nothing groundbreaking or surprising about this book, it’s just a really solid narrative about a town you wished you lived in and people you wish were your friends!