A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.
Nothing is as permanent as it appears....
Denver, 1962. Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn't quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.
Then the dreams begin.
Denver, 1963. Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It's everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted - but it exists only when she sleeps.
Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn's life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so what is the cost of becoming Katharyn? As the line between her worlds begins to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined.
©2015 Cynthia Swanson (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Interesting premise. Too bad that it's stretched out to a point it's very anticlimactic.
The narrator is pretty good, the story is not bad. It just lacks luster I guess.
The idea was wonderful but the narrators voice grew old quickly and the plot lost steam. Wasn't too hard to figure out where she was going with the story and if I had been literally reading the book I would have skimmed. Description of Denver in the 1960s was enjoyable as was the relationships between "sisters" and mother/father/daughter. Relationship with children felt too Norman Rockwell on one hand and too uncomfortable on the other. Very disturbing emotional reaction to special needs.
Intriguing, complex, relatable
Katherine/Kitty I loved the contrast of the same character struggling to find reality in two very different lives. She was able to see herself from two perspectives and specifically how other key people in each life shaped the woman she had become.I related to her in many ways but particularly how she deeply cared for her loved ones and their happiness. Furthermore, I think any wife/mother/career woman can relate to how she had to prioritize and shift her time, effort, and interest as her life evolved as Katherine.
I did not have an emotional reaction but I had an extreme need to keep listening to this book. It captured my attention from the beginning (which doesn't happen often). I found myself listening every free minute I could find and increasing the reading speed to get to the end within 3 days.
This book really made me think not only about the interesting storyline of two parallel lives; but about being a woman--wife, mother, friend, and daughter--in the 1960s. I don't often take the time to write a review as soon as I finish a book but this one inspired me to encourage others to listen to this intriguing book!
It is such an interesting premise, and then...nothing happens! There is no character development. Lars, Frida, and Catherine all are flat, and lifeless. There was a 45 minute stretch where Catherine was describing shoe shopping for her children at a suburban shopping mall, and I almost fell asleep, but I slugged it out, hoping to be rewarded with some plot development. No such luck.
I enjoyed about the first half of the book, and then I knew where the author was going. At that point, I had NO idea how I could manage another 5 hours of this.
It was OK, but tried to stuff too many themes - race, autism, grief, - into the book, so much so that none of them were flushed out.
And then if became a Hallmark card...
Kathe Mazur, as always, did a good narrating job on this book; too bad it wasn't a better book...
I usually listen to audiobooks in the car and at night after everyone else has settled in. This book kept me up as I constantly advanced the sleep timer for "one more chapter." It's predictable enough to be comfortable, but that familiarity is jarred enough to keep secrets. I found the imperfect characterization to be refreshing, and I was more easily able to care about/identify with Kitty.
I would have liked the final chapters fleshed out further, as the ending seemed pat. That aside, I was disappointed when the story ended.
I loved everything about this story. Even the parts that were predictable. I loved seeing both sides of Kitty, "the path not taken". I'm sure from time to time we have all played the "what if" game with our big and little decisions. Well done.
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