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Publisher's Summary

Short-listed for the Booker Prize.

In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important but natural and even supernatural forces, too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.

©1978 Penelope Fitzgerald; Introduction David Nicholls 2013; Preface Hermione Lee 2013 (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

On my to read list for a long time

I thoroughly enjoyed this short novel. It was exquisitely written and a sometimes gentle, sometimes sad portrayal of the small-mindedness of village folk. The characters, although minimally explored, come into sharp focus. I have no doubt that this is an accurate portrayal of what post War village life was like in England.
I would caution you to skip the commentary at the beginning and return to it after you have finished the book as it provides details better uncovered on your own. The commentary was insightful but might spoil the book for the reader.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Enjoyable Read - Small Town

A lovely story about one who hoped to provide where there was not, education, art and love of reading. Unbeknownst to her, the endeavors were not welcomed by the suspicious little town and members set about in ways that would surprise you.

I enjoyed the time and listened to this one on Audible. The narrators were lovely and truly made the book more enjoyable. I loved the cadence and delicacy of the writing.

Enjoy!

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Thoughtful, entertaining and a delightful treat

This short book is a delight of fascinating perception both of realistic characters, as well as the location and life style in a small coastal village where everyone knows everything about everyone else, A place where jealousies easily arise and where real or imagined slights are never forgotten or forgiven..

I chose to read this recently without realising there was a film about to be released. Having listened, in every spare moment I could, to reach the end I now look forward to the film version. Glad I heard this version first, because the beauty of the prose may become lost in a film version which relies on visual and dialogue..Happy to recommend as a thoughtful, entertaining short novel.

The narration was ideal, capturing the characters, the atmosphere of the village and enhancing the descriptions of the bleak Norfolk landscape..

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  • Maggieannie
  • 12-29-16

Short but sweet

What made the experience of listening to The Bookshop the most enjoyable?

This was a lovely little book. I especially enjoyed the narration this time.

What did you like best about this story?

It had a bitter sweet theme.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Three different narrators and all very good.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Quite sad really with the odd chuckle.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MaR
  • 10-02-18

Pretty much perfect

I have been planning to read the Bookshop for some time but have simply never got around to it. I am so glad it is perfect audio book slow, gentle, funny and heartbrealking in a very short spaceof time. it si a very English book both in charachter and pace and I so loved it. The narration fits perfectly. Perhaps my favourite Audible so far.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-27-18

A wonderful novel

A tale of one woman's failure but ambiguously, elliptically, beautifully and assuredly written. A treasure.

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  • a.hopewell
  • 09-08-18

unexpected pleasure

I was surprised and pleased to listen to this superb story from Penelope Fitzgerald, great.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susie
  • 08-20-18

Book Mark

Bottom lip story of a book shop seller and and it’s ephemeral mishaps with grim toady people

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  • Akhila Hughes
  • 07-21-18

Depressing

Great writing depressing people depressing place depressing story. Just really writing these last words because A review has to be a Min of words.