Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Pages: 336 pages
Published: September 2016 

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan is a slow-paced novel set in the United Kingdom - mainly Scotland. This is a book that should be approached and read purely for entertainment. It's about Nina, a librarian, who recently is laid off due to a restructuring of her City. She steps way outside of her comfort zone, relocates, and starts her own mobile bookstore in a van. In a different place and with a new spin on her career as a literary matchmaker, she finds added excitement in her life.

I enjoyed the first two-thirds of this story. The writing is good, and the author paints a picture of an unsure young woman who branches out in a quaint little farm town. All of the secondary characters are interesting and add value to the development of the primary character, as she grows more sure of herself. However, the last third of the book seemed a little rushed like the author was unsure of how to wrap up the plot.

I struggled with a few other things in this book. The romantic element - I don't think it was needed. There was a lot of potential with Nina's character as well as her discovery of a new profession/business venture. I think the author could have fleshed that out more rather than introduce a slightly unrealistic romantic plot that seemed to rush to the end. Also, I didn't care for the way the author simply wrote off the Marek character. I found it insensitive. I know the book was published several years ago, but it's almost inflammatory considering immigration relations all over the world today. And finally, the title of the book bothered me because nowhere in the novel is there a bookshop on the corner. However, after reading through some Q&A on Goodreads, I learned that the more relevant U.K. title is Little Shop of Happily Ever After, which makes so much more sense. Why the title was changed for U.S. publication is beyond me.

Recommendation This is a light read for a summer weekend when you don't have anything important to do. There are some touching moments, but don't expect it to be the next Great American Read or anything. Just take it for what it is at face value.

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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