Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.
Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.
Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile — a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
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Grab this book. Now.
Read Consumed, Devoured this book in one sitting. If you are a book lover and read as voraciously as I do, you know that is a special moment. And, who wouldn’t love a story with a heroine who finds herself and grabs her dreams all in one?
Nina is a bookworm, preferring books and stories to people, the outdoors, paperwork or dating. When her library branch in Birmingham is being closed for redundancy and realigned to better centralize and appeal, she’s facing a crisis. Interviewing for the job she loves, matching books to readers in just the right way, she finds herself out of place, words and eventually a job. The closing means she’s busy rescuing the discarded books and filling her flat with books, much to her roommate’s dismay. Never particularly confrontational, the petite Nina has spent her life in an almost apologetic manner: soft-spoken, hiding under her clothes, truly only coming to light with her nose in a book.
When a large van, perfect for a mobile shop appears on the internet, Nina hops a bus to the wilds of Scotland to take a look. And here is where the story just jumps into wonderful. North of nowhere, Scotland, Kirrinfief is typical of many small communities with a tiny mainstreet and hardscrabble living: farms, a pub, perhaps a school and a postman…but little else. Their nearest library closed years before, and whether or not they know it, the people are dying for a good read to while away the long winter hours.
What emerges is the growth of Nina – finding her dream and voice in a place that doesn’t crowd her, doesn’t look over her tiny size and lose her in a crowd. With plenty of assistance from friends old and new, she’s brought into the community and becomes an integral cog: story hours for little ones, favored genres to others, gently encouraging those who haven’t read before to try it, even directing a little boy back to school. Nina fits and she’s never been happier. Perhaps there are moments and descriptions that feel clichéd or stereotypical – but let’s be honest, there’s a ring of truth in many clichés and stereotypes, and the characters who become important to the story do develop into fully formed, living on the page people.
It’s so hard to write a review for a book that grabs you and drags you willingly into the story and setting. Book lovers who grew up reading everything they could touch will see a little bit of Nina in themselves. And what are we as Bloggers if we don’t find that book that feels like we could be that character – and share it widely? Grab this book. Now.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
I loved this book!!
A breezy romance set amongst books in the highlands
The bookshop on the corner is a sweet , coming-of-age of sorts story about Nina Redmond , who is forced to look for alternative employment opportunities , when the library she is working at is forced to close down.
As Nina acts on her whims and instinct to buy a van and run a mobile bookstore in the Scottish Highlands , she also meets two men : The mysterious Marek , the Latvian train engineer , for whom Nina leaves books wrapped in plastic , tied to a tree . Mysterious Marek reciprocates by leaving her books , volumes of translated Russian poetry and other stuff which makes you go awww.
On the other hand you have Lennox , the surly and practical land lord who admonishes Nina when she climbs on to a rotten branch , or when she leaves the handbrake off on her van and does foolish things like indulging in a train romance with a mysterious not so stranger , whose background and commitments she is not sure of. If Nina's and Marek's romance plays off like a tale from a romance novel that you were enamored of as a teen , Nina's and Lennox's interactions are rooted in reality and practicality until the end where they sort of arrive at a contrived reality ( Nina and Lennox end up together but I wish they didn't that easily). The conflict between Marek and Lennox plays out as a euphemism for the conflict between Nina's worlds : her world of books and imaginations and the practical life that she's starting to find success in.
Jenny Colgan's prose transports you to Scotland , Birmingham and Kirrinfief so effortlessly with her wods painting vivid pictures that leave little to your imagination and when you finish this book , you want to go back and reread it again , if only to get a whiff of those images again.