The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

September 19, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★

The Bookstore by Deborah MeylerRelease Date: August 20, 2013
Title: The Bookstore
Author: Deborah Meyler
Pages: 352
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
4 Stars

This book was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting some sort of chick lit or romance novel. Instead, I got a kind of heavy literary fiction novel that broke my heart.

And I loved every page of it.

I don’t often read real fiction. Yes, I understand that was an oxymoron – but typically I read fiction of the paranormal variety. Supernatural or mystical books that have no basis in reality.

The Bookstore was real. Esme’s story was harsh and breathtaking and beautiful.

Her boyfriend Mitchell was the douche-baggiest of assholes (don’t worry, though, I promise).

And The Owl? I wish it really existed! I would live there forever.

This story really had no beginning and no end. It was a snapshot of a period of time in Esme’s life.

And it was… beautiful.

What Others Are Saying:

  • Novel EscapesThere were several times when I wanted to throw the book aside and never finish it but I had hope that it would eventually get better.
  • The Windy PagesThe story goes slowly and though I wasn’t tempted to put it down, a couple of times I felt like I had lost the thread.
  • Popcorn Reads: Deborah Meyler has written a touching, insightful, and at times quite funny novel about relationships among people and between people and their books.

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