“One of the loveliest, most exquisitely beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. . . . I didn’t just read the pages, I lived in them.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope—and letters hidden between the pages.
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
Eighteen-year-old Rachel, still traumatized by the death of her brother, wants to be far from the ocean where he drowned; she decides to move back to suburban Melbourne, where she grew up, to live with her aunt. Meanwhile, Henry, Rachel's former best friend in Gracetown, is also confronting loss: his girlfriend just broke up with him, and his parents have decided to sell their bookstore, his place of refuge. In this novel set in Australia, mostly at the bookstore, Crowley (Graffiti Moon) effectively conveys the complexities of love, death, and time through Rachel and Henry's alternating narratives, as well as letters and notes pulled from the pages of old books. It's only after Rachel takes a job at the store that she begins to heal, coming to terms with her failures, Cal's death, and her rekindled love for Henry, who is wrapped up getting his girlfriend back. Filled with soul searching and philosophical quips, this book is for thinkers and lovers of literature who, like Rachel and Henry, are passionate about ideas and searching for answers. Ages 14 up.