Perhaps I should start this review by stating, sadly, that How to Find Love in a Bookshop is not a self-help book for the recently separated. If it were, I expect it would be nearly impossible to find a copy! Veronica Henry’s novel is, of course, a love story of the fictional kind and oddly, it took me three attempts to find my way into it. In fact, it came dangerously close to being on my ‘Can’t Read/Won’t Read’ list and the pile of books relegated to the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I’m not sure what made me pick it up again, but I’m ever so glad I did because the week I spent reading it was, well, lovely.
This novel delivers exactly what the title promises: a feelgood love story. You know already, from the start that it will be a story with a happy ending, but in truth there are so many characters within the novel that from the beginning, you aren’t entirely sure whose happy ending you are pursuing. In fact, for a slim paperback, I was amazed by the number of different story strands there were in this book, but even more amazingly, it works.
The story centers around Emilia Nightingale who returns to Nightingale Books following the death of her father, Julius. Emilia wrestles with whether it will be possible to turn the bookstore into something financially viable, or if it might just be wiser and less expensive to sell-up to the local developer. Naturally enough the bookshop stands at the heart of the local community and with a proprietor as lovely as Emilia, there are plenty of people willing and eager to help. This is a story about how community rallies around and, during a time when we are all dealing with a global pandemic, there’s something very comforting in that.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the very definition of an easy summer read; charming and fun. I recommend it served with a cool glass of wine and a lovely summer breeze.