Review 1543: The Bookshop

I decided to read The Bookshop after seeing the movie of the same name. The two are very similar, but the movie doesn’t convey the subtlety of the book, which is a little more remorseless.

Post World War I, the widow Florence Green decides to open a bookshop in her East Sussex village of Hardborough, which does not have one. For the premises, she purchases the Old House, which has been vacant for seven years and is in need of a lot of work. It is also rumored to be haunted.

Her aims seem worthy and harmless, but no sooner does she purchase the Old House than a local worthy, Mrs. Gamart, invites her to a party only to inform her that she, Mrs. Gamart, intended the Old House for an arts center. Florence has no idea who she’s dealing with when she asks Mrs. Gamart why then she didn’t buy the house any time in the past seven years and refuses to let it go.

This novel seems to be light fare, but it has some cynical observations about small-town gentry and betrayal. It is short, fully engaging, sparely and beautifully written, and sad.

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5 thoughts on “Review 1543: The Bookshop

  1. Davida Chazan August 21, 2020 / 6:12 am

    Interesting. I also did the same; movie first, book later. I found that the book was disjointed as compared to the movie, and I honestly liked the film a bit better.

  2. Jane August 22, 2020 / 4:58 am

    I keep meaning to read this as I found the film so strange, but have watched again and it’s now a bit of a favourite! It’s also made me think I should read Ray Bradbury!!

    • whatmeread August 22, 2020 / 12:28 pm

      It’s fairly short and easy to read.

      • Jane August 24, 2020 / 10:59 am

        I should have it as a stand by then, for those moments when I don’t know what to read next!

      • whatmeread August 24, 2020 / 11:19 am

        Good idea!

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