Brilliant, idealistic Esme Garland moves to Manhattan armed with a prestigious scholarship at Columbia University. When Mitchell van Leuven - a New Yorker with the bluest of blue New York blood - captures her heart with his stunning good looks and a penchant for all things erotic, life seems truly glorious...until a thin blue line signals a wrinkle in Esme’s tidy plan. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he suddenly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all.
Determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore, finding solace in George, the laconic owner addicted to spirulina, and Luke, the taciturn, guitar-playing night manager. The oddball customers are a welcome relief from Columbia’s high-pressure halls, but the store is struggling to survive in this city where nothing seems to last.
When Mitchell recants his criticism, his passion and promises are hard to resist. But if Esme gives him a second chance, will she, like her beloved bookstore, lose more than she can handle? A sharply observed and evocative tale of learning to face reality without giving up on your dreams, The Bookstore is sheer enchantment from start to finish.
©2013 Deborah Meyler (P)2014 Tantor
"A deeply satisfying novel you will keep close to your heart, written in a style by turns witty and poetic." (Booklist, starred review)
I'm not really sure what to say about this book but that it truly left me speechless. I had a hard time listening to this book for several reasons. For one, Esme Garland, the main character was so naive, it was frustrating. Combine that with the narrator's voice and it was unbelievable.
Throughout the book, it almost seemed as if the the author was trying to justify Esme's character by reiterating that Garland was from England and that she was trying to adapt to an American or more specifically New York lifestyle. That is complete garbage! If you are from America, England, Australia, or the end of the world, you are silly if you put up with the nonsense that Esme did from her child's father. It was like a terrible flashback to high school and college - when a girl does whatever she can to be with the most popular guy in school; but for what? This story was very uninspiring and if this is how relationships work nowadays, then we have a long way to go in society.
Esme's love life does see some bright light towards the end of the story but unfortunately that love story was not developed well. I finished listening to "The Bookstore" wondering "what the hell just happened".
Obviously, it goes without saying that I was relieved to reach the end of this book because it was just so bad on many levels. I normally don't say this - but don't waste your time with this book.
I'm not a fan of doormats, so unless Deborah's heroines can stand for themselves, then I probably wouldn't buy another one of her books. Heather Wilds' monotone voice doesn't inspire listeners. Sorry, she didn't work for me.
A little more emotions, inflections, change in tones would've helped with the narration.
Anger. Severe anger for the characters. Because not one of these characters showed even a speck of emotions.
Tragically bad audiobook. I want my money back.
I am a high school English teacher who loves to listen to books almost as much as reading them.
Meyler created the foundation for a solid (albeit, predictable) storyline; however, she never fleshed out the plot's potential because the characters she created were overtly arch-typical This is especially true with the boyfriend of the protagonist: whenever he emerged in the story I had to fight my desire to fast-forward to the next section of the novel.
Wilds' limited vocal infection makes the story sound flatter than it actually is. The melodic ebb and flow of her interpretation fails to enhance The Bookstore in any positive way.
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
Yes. I almost rushed through this book because I found it so captivating. The prose was exceptional.
This is difficult. There are nuances of Anita Brookner, Jennifer Wiener and Joanna Trollope. The brevity of the wit and the NOT over usage of sentimentality was perfect.
I found the reader to be most engaging and easy to listen to. She did not over-dramatize the characters, which is always preferable.
I laughed some. I loved that the female protagonist was not stupid. It was believable. The various scenes of NYC were memorable especially the one when the snow is falling.
I can only hope that this writer will continue to write. A sequel would not be out of order. In fact I would love to see this become a series.
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