• The Printed Letter Bookshop

  • By: Katherine Reay
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (359 ratings)
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The Printed Letter Bookshop  By  cover art

The Printed Letter Bookshop

By: Katherine Reay
Narrated by: Hillary Huber
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Publisher's summary

Books. Love. Friendship. Second chances. All can be found at the Printed Letter Bookshop in the small, charming town of Winsome.

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly 20 years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt - and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls.

When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best combined efforts may be too little, too late.

This sweet, contemporary listen is a stand-alone novel, though characters in this story will appear in Katherine Reay’s forthcoming book, Of Literature and Lattes. Book length: approximately 95,000 words. Includes discussion questions and a list of books from the author.

Praise for The Printed Letter Bookshop:

"Powerful, enchanting, and spirited, this novel will delight." (Patti Callahan, best-selling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis)

"The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship." (Rachel McMillan, author of Murder in the City of Liberty)

"Gifted narrator Hillary Huber introduces listeners to three women whose lives collide after the passing of a bookstore owner named Maddie. Madeline Cullen, Maddie's niece, is voiced in tones of regret and sadness, her fond memories of her aunt having been replaced by the bitterness of a family disagreement never settled. When Madeline inherits her aunt's bookstore, she meets sullen, quick-tempered Claire and sweet Janet. Notes of emotional pain can be heard in all three women's voices as their paths intertwine after Maddie's death. Each chapter is narrated by one of the three grieving women, and Huber seamlessly differentiates them with specific tones, tempos, and rhythms. With its expertly narrated story of healing, this audiobook is sure to warm hearts." (AudioFile)

  • Sweet and thoughtful contemporary listen
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: 96,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions and a recommended reading list from the author
©2019 Katherine Reay (P)2019 Thomas Nelson

What listeners say about The Printed Letter Bookshop

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
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Underneath it all

This book is full of well-rounded characters in different stages of life. Each character is trying to figure out who they really are and where they want to go in life. These questions are not just for the young, although there are young characters, they are also for middle-aged characters dealing with changes in their lives.

I find it difficult to find the right words to search for books with middle-aged characters and have to just stumble upon them, therefore enjoying the mix in this story.

Librarians, book dealers and book lovers will recognize the details that come along with lifelong reading.

This is a light read and will make you laugh even though the characters are often confronting deep personal issues. Relationships, family issues, grief and the fears of digging deep within yourself are experiences these characters must live with.

At first, I thought I would be put off because each chapter is titled with a character's name. I often dislike the current fad of having to go back and forth between storylines always discovering that you like one storyline better than the other and feel like you have to just get through the chapters in between. In this book, I happily discovered that the chapters flow together as part of one larger story.

I think people of a variety of ages will find the characters amusing and relatable and will recognize parts of themselves in them.

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12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Don’t miss this one!

Excellent book about relationships and positive change. I like this author a lot and have read/listened to most of her books. All of them are very good. You won’t be disappointed.

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12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A new favorite

Tender, funny, clever and unforgettable. I’ll return to The Printed Letter Bookshop just as her customers have. This one is a real treat.

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9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Robotic narrator

The story was enjoyable and lighthearted. The narrator, however, was quite disappointing. Robotic and mono toned is the best way I can think to describe her voice. It took away from the writing.

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6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Frustrating until last few chapters!

The Printed Letter Bookshop, on Audible, I found to be largely flat in Hillary Huber's narration and an irritating trial in trying to decipher which character was speaking, when. This didn't improve over eleven hours of delivery.

I'd be willing to bet that author, Katherine Reay's re-assessing of her writing -- and a more helpful editor -- would have tightened up the first about three quarters of this story, undoubtedly giving it more punch, enjoyment and reasons to be read. As it is, I found the story largely depressing, lacking in color, tempo and modulation, with the three pivotal female characters gray in affect and unable to get out of their own way -- until the last few chapters when, finally, a few challenging storms evolve, washing away the gray and giving us some sparkle and interest. By far the most interesting character, woven through the book, was Aunt Maddy -- and, she was deceased!

For me, The Printed Letter Bookshop isn't a book to re-read or to recommend.


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5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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If you’re not a lawyer you might like this…

This book would have been good if it wasn’t for the painfully pedantic and incorrect description of “big law” and what lawyers do. It was like the author heard a cliche about lawyers and just went with it. A “big law” firm that does divorce law? The main character is a star attorney yet represents the person who breaks into her store? Can anyone say ethical violation? Unfortunately it was a major storyline throughout the book and utterly ruined it for me. Perhaps if you are not a lawyer in “big law” it won’t be so grating.

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3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I gave up.

After nearly 2 hours of listening, and it still being the depressing day of a funeral, I gave up. I love the narrator Hillary Huber, but even listening to her great storytelling could get me to keep listening.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It touched Me

This is a feel-good, chick-lit book in many ways, but I think it could be a great movie. It has great character development, but held no surprises for me. Though this isn’t my usual reading fare anything about bookshops or libraries will tempt me to give it a try. It brought tears to my eyes once or twice. I would recommend it.

The narrator did a great job and definitely contributed to the overall enjoyable experience.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Thoroughly enjoyable!!

A lovely story about 4 women, their differences, and a wonderful bookstore that brought them together and changed their lives forever!

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1 person found this helpful

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Highly recommend this book, but....

The story is wonderful. I highly recommend that people read this book. While I like Hillary Huber as a narrator there are to many characters for one narrator to do it justice. I found myself have to backtrack quit a bit to follow who was speaking. I am definitely going to enjoy this book again, but I am not sure if I will get a printed copy and read it or listen to it again. For me the story was very compelling. It contains important life lessons that bridge a generational gap. I also found all of the references from other literature very appealing. If you are looking for good read and can appreciate the homage paid to other great authors this is the book for you.

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