I’ve been trying to finish this book for over a month now, which is never a good way to start a book review- I know. Usually, between my work, workout, writing and actual reading- I take about a week to finish a book but this took a long time. There’s a reasonable explanation- the book starts off on a very sombre note. Emilia, the protagonist’s father (Julian) passes away and that’s how the story starts and frames later.
Most novels just mention several characters in passing, but this one goes in great detail for almost all the characters- talking about the different things they learned- and how the bookshop- The Nightengale Books helped them or played a very important role in their lives.
Whether it’s Jackson – who’s trying to bond with his son and estranged wife, or Bea trying to find something to do other than just cleaning her newborn’s clothes; or Thomasina who’s looking for courage to tell a man she’s in love with him, or the woman in the Peasebrook mansion who was in love with the owner of the book store herself.
Out of all the stories, Julian’s was my favourite. It broke my heart to read when Rebecca passed away- and brought actual relief to me when I found out how much Sarah was in love with him.
The plot line mostly sticks to Emilia as she struggles to keep the bookstore working after her father’s death- and the many struggles, debacles and little wins she has- albeit with a little help from the many characters in the book.
Even with this many characters in the book, it never got confusing to remember who did what and had what kind of a role in the play- which is truly an art, if you ask me. I’ve read books with this many characters where the plot line goes down the drain very swiftly- but Veronica kept the plot line flowing and easy.
It’s a book for book lovers, with some incredible stories and several recommendations of books to read for different readers- whether it’s romance, food, life, history- whatever you wish to read. I quite enjoyed the second half of the book- when the melancholy tone moved away.
I would recommend the book to those who are absolutely obsessed with reading and to those who can be patient and wait for the plot line to slowly elaborate it.