The Bookstore | Deborah Meyler
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
ARC provided by the publishers via Netgalley.
Summary from Goodreads:
A witty, sharply observed debut novel about a young woman who finds unexpected salvation while working in a quirky used bookstore in Manhattan. Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.
Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa.
The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene?
A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.
What I Thought. . .
I so wanted to LOVE this book, but don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it. I enjoyed it and thought it incredibly well-written and well researched. Definitely a fabulous debut from the author. There were instances where I felt disconnected from the book, but other times where I found myself engrossed in the life of Esme. I can say that I hated Mitchell and wanted to shake him and probably even smack him for his actions, but towards the end of the book, I found myself feeling more sorry for the guy because it was obvious that he just needed help. I really wanted more from Luke! There was just something about him that I really liked and I found myself wishing for more of him rather than Mitchell. The bookstore, The Owl, was fantastic. I loved that I could visualize it’s every nook and cranny and I even found myself feeling at home in The Owl each and every time Esme was there in the book. It reminded me of my favorite indie bookstore and just added that extra special element to the book.
Overall, I am very happy that I read this book and gave it a chance. The Bookstore truly is a great debut novel from this author, I just wish I could have been able to make more of a connection to it throughout it’s entirety.
3 out of 5 stars.