I’m pretty sure I haven’t ever read a Susan Wiggs novel before this one. I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, this novel had me at bookshop (as they all do!) and even though I’ve had an ARC of this book for months, I finally decided to finish it today, after stopping and starting a few times a few months ago.
I’ll confess I was cruising along with my books, and suddenly this past week I hit a wall again. Just couldn’t get through anything. So I am glad I picked this back up again, because I hit that magical place in the book that had me focusing in and forgetting about anything for awhile. Even though I didn’t do anything for July 4th but stay home and cook out, I was still feeling a bit of a holiday hangover today. After watering my flowers outside and getting laundry started, I was happy to just stay inside and read.
This novel really is a nod to booklovers everywhere. Natalie Harper grew up in a bookstore; her mother Blythe operates a family bookshop in a building that has been in the Harper family for 100 years-a coveted building in fashionable San Francisco. After a horrible tragedy, Natalie returns to San Francisco and the bookshop, to take stock of its future, and to take care of Grandy, her grandfather. He’d recently fallen and broken his hip and was now showing signs of early dementia. Natalie had been successful at a wine brokerage firm and while she didn’t love her job, she was good at it. But it wasn’t hard to leave and return, if only to help her Grandy take care of next steps.
Those next steps aren’t as easy as Natalie expects, when she finds out her Grandy owns the building and the bookstore, and will not sell, even after Natalie realizes they are deep in debt and behind on taxes. What’s a bookstore manager to do, but try and build up the business with a huge author event that could help pay bills and give the store much needed advertising?
Natalie also meets Peach Gallagher, a local “hammer guy” who specializes in fixing old buildings. Her mother had arranged for Peach to fix a few things in the building, and Peach is one good looking man. He’s also a really decent man, with an adorable daughter who frequents the bookstore. His friendly and calm attitude helps Natalie as she struggles between grief, understanding her grandfather’s failing health, and the tough decisions she has to make.
So we’ve got a few things running through this story: the struggle to save the bookstore, an ailing grandfather, a potential romance, and a story that’s been handed down over the generations about a treasure that’s hidden somewhere in the building, left by Grandy’s grandmother, who died in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Is it just a fanciful story, or is there treasure lurking somewhere-treasure that could save the business?
I read this novel pretty quickly, and enjoyed it very much. No surprises, just a gentle unfolding of the story. I loved all the book references, and the peeks into what it takes to run a bookstore. Definitely a good vacation book!
This book is out in the U.S. on July 7th in hardcover, ebook, and audio.
Rating: 4/6 for an enjoyable novel about life when it makes a few sharp turns, the importance of family, and of course, the life changing magic of books. Some parts made me a little teary-eyed, so you may need a tissue!
Books for Sale & Trade
Hi guys! So my bookcases have been absolutely overflowing lately, and I have decided to get rid of some books. Most of these have been read (though not all), and many are still in new condition.
I’ve added a description of the condition of the book, and the price (if applicable). Shipping is €3.20 per book for European addresses. If you live somewhere else, I can check what it would cost, but you’re probably better off just buying a new copy
I’ve also added a wishlist of books below. If you have any of these, we might work out a trade! In this case, of course, you don’t pay the price I put next to the book. You might also check out my Goodreads TBR, as there are quite a lot of books I’d be interested in but that aren’t listed.
Books for sale:
- Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
- Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
- Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
- Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
- The Peculiar by Stephan Bachmann (paperback – near-new €3)
- The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
- Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
- Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
- Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
- New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
- Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
- Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €3)
- Entangled by Cat Clarke (paperback – used but looks fine, spine intact €3)
- Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris (paperback – used, some markings on cover €2)
- Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (paperback – used but looks fine €3)
- Cress by Marissa Meyer (paperback – used, heavy markings around spine as visible in picture €2)
- Fallen by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
- Torment by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
- Passion by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
- Rapture by Lauren Kate (paperback – new €4)
- Die For Me by Amy Plum (paperback – as new €4)
- Until I Die by Amy Plum (paperback – spine creased near the top, visible in picture, otherwise fine €3)
- Atonement by Ian McEwan (paperback – as new €4)
- Eren by Simon P. Clarke (hardcover – new €5)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (hardcover – new €8)
- Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
- Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
- Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
- The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett (paperback ARC – trade only!)
- Everbound by Brodi Ashton (paperback ARC – trade only!)
- Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (paperback ARC – trade only!)
- Rise by Anna Carey (paperback ARC – trade only!)
- Cashel Byron’s Profession by Bernard Shaw (paperback – new €3)
- Divergent by Veronica Roth (paperback – used, spine intact €2)
- Insurgent by Veronica Roth (hardcover – slightly yellowed €4)
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth (hardcover – slightly yellowed €4)
- Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (paperback – as new €3)
(Adding this is taking longer than I expected, will add some more books later!)
Books on my wishlist:
- Whisper my Name by Jane Eagland
- The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
- Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
- Fortune’s Blight by Evie Manieri
- The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
- Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
- The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
If you’re interested in any of these books, let me know in a comment or contact me directly at nyxbookreviews(at)gmail.com! I’ll try to keep the list as updated as possible