Nightingale Books, nestled on the high street in the idyllic Cotswold town of Peasebrook, is a dream come true for booklovers.
But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous – but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers.
Sarah Basildon, owner of stately pile Peasebrook Manor, has used the book shop as an escape from all her problems in the past few years. But is there more to her visits than meets the eye?
Since messing up his marriage, Jackson asks Emilia for advice on books to read to the son he misses so much. But Jackson has a secret, and is not all he seems…
And there’s Thomasina, painfully shy, who runs a pop-up restaurant from her tiny cottage. She has a huge crush on a man she met and then lost in the cookery section, somewhere between Auguste Escoffier and Marco Pierre White. Can she find the courage to admit her true feelings?
How to Find Love in a Book Shop is the delightful story of Emilia’s fight to keep her book shop alive, the customers whose lives she has touched – and the books they all love.
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
One of Veronica Henry’s strengths is the ability to entwine the complex lives of different characters together in a way that makes you equally excited each time the thread of a new character is picked up again. Her new book is no exception.
Emilia, the bookshop owner has promised her dying father to keep his bookshop going but it’s a more difficult task than she anticipated. Into the bookshop stroll a huge range of people, from the local toff to the recently single dad. But all have their secrets and all have their reasons for being there.
The setting has to be every book lovers dream – a quaint little village with a real community spirit, with a much loved book shop, piled high with tombs of varying genres. The characters are also wonderful – as complex and vividly real as a Charles Dickens’ London.
My only criticism is that I would have liked more conflict. Aside from Emilia’s uncertainty about the future of the shop there were some fascinating characters with myriad difficulties but all were solved quite easily. It would have been more rewarding to have more of a battle for some of them.
But despite that, this is a magical story that will have you running to your local indie bookshop. So go on, get buying!
The Grove Bookshop
To help celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, we’ve been asked, as part of this tour, to write about our favourite local bookshops. I was so excited because, guys, I love my local bookshop: the Grove Bookshop in Ilkley, Yorkshire.
So how can I convince you that this is the best shop ever? Well – it sells books – beautiful books. I’m sure the books they sell here are always prettier than the books they sell in chain bookstores. The fiction section is always filled with interesting books that have me salivating and the classics are stunning. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for they can usually get deliveries in for the next day – better than Amazon, right?
From my very first Harry Potter to Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes to Alan Hollinghurst’s stunning The Line of Beauty and a drop-dead-gorgeous edition of A Christmas Carol – I’ve bought all my favourite novels here. I feel like the Grove Bookshop has granted me a magical journey through fictional worlds and an education beyond what life could teach me.
There’s a really sumptuous section of cookery books here (many times I’ve bought one on a whim and cooked up…well, not a storm because I’m not that good, but a hearty home cooked feast), a well-stocked travel section and a truly wonderful children’s corner. From modern tomes to classic fairy tales, the kids’ books here are a dream.
There is also an array of signed fiction and non-fiction as the bookshop is a great advocate for the Ilkley Literature Festival, which attracts some really top notch authors. I’ve seen loads of my heroes – from Margaret Atwood to Jay Rayner.
And should you get bored of browsing for books (ha!), downstairs there is Grove Music – full of classical, Jazz and Rock CDs and sheet music. I promise – this shop is a haven for creative types.
The best thing about it though? The staff. Friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about books, without ever being in your face and overly opinionated. Please give my local a go – you won’t regret a visit.