Like most booklovers I am always drawn to books about bookstores and libraries. I enjoy that niche genre about the down on her luck, lonely, bookstore owner (always a woman) who is struggling to keep her business afloat. They usually end very predictably with the store and the store owner being saved by some miraculous influx of money and a handsome prince charming. So, I picked up Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green, expecting to read your typical bookstore book.
The plot is basically what Fawn, the out of luck used bookstore owner, does when confronted with the competition of a shiny new book store which just opened across the street from her store. Fawn’s store (and the apartment she lives in above it) is falling apart. Her only company is the old lady who rents an apartment in her building, her young employees, and a beloved elderly cat. She is estranged from the rest of her family, after what she considered a horrible childhood.
The book is epistolary, told from Fawn’s point of view in mostly emails and journal entries. I generally like the epistolary form. I think the author thought Fawn would be endearing with her eccentricities. Instead, Fawn comes across as mentally ill, probably an alcoholic, and delusional. So many times as I read her drunken late night emails, I cringed. Her refusal to visit her dying father, her many spiteful acts, her often illegal actions, had me wishing she would just find a good psychoanalyst. I honestly felt sad by how pathetic she was and found very little of it funny.
So, needless to say, I suggest you skip this one and find one of those typical bookstore books to read instead.