Author: Samantha Young
Publication: Berkley, trade paperback, 2021
Genre: Chick Lit
Setting: Present-day Chicago and EnglandDescription: Evie is humiliated and fed up with the dating scene in Chicago and equally infuriated by the sexism at work where she has done her boss’ job for years without credit or a promotion. When she learns she was not considered to replace him and the new editor is a man with significantly less experience than she, Evie quits in a very satisfying rage, searches “vacation escapes in England” and uses her savings to book a trip to manage a bookshop in an obscure small town in Northumberland. Saying goodbye to her best friend Greer, Evie departs for a month in England to take charge of Much Ado About Books and turn her life around.
My Impression: Even if you don't usually read contemporary romance, this book is fun to read to enjoy Evie's bookstore vicariously! Like me, the author read about the famous Scottish bookstore in Wigtown that can be booked as a vacation but while I checked availability and gave up when I saw it was booked years in advance, she used it as inspiration for this book. Evie leaves all the stress in her life back in Chicago as she not only takes on management of a small bookstore but also steps out of her comfort zone to make friends with strangers, hang out at pubs, and begin a romance with a handsome farmer.
Running a bookstore didn’t feel like a job, especially on days I found myself lounging on one of the armchairs, reading in between customers. I liked to think customers found the sight of the manager actually reading the books she was selling a pretty charming quality.This may be the most wish-fulfillment book I have ever read. The bookstore owners and staffers I know would laugh at the idea of ever having time to read. Friends who have moved to England might laugh at the idea of locals embracing them the way Evie is welcomed by Alnster residents. And that is before she literally stumbles into a gorgeous man when she saves his Great Dane from being hit by a car. Naturally, he is immediately besotted because it’s that kind of book, although Evie is not conventionally attractive. It’s enough to make one go hunting for dogs to rescue! I rolled my eyes at the implausibility of it all but enjoyed the book anyway. I learned about this book from the February Library Reads newsletter (to which anyone can subscribe) and look forward to reading the author’s Fight or Flight, which is set in Boston.
I’d just finished Anna Karenina. Admittedly, some of it was kind of a slog, but it was quite the tale. Now I was rereading Jane Eyre. It was one of my absolute favorites. Darcy was surely the OG of book boyfriends, but Rochester came along a few decades later, an although he divided critics, I loved him. Some of the things he said to Jane . . . be still, my beating heart.
|Photo credit: https://adventitiousviolet.com/visiting-wigtown-scotlands-national-book-town/|