The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
About the book:
Gallery Books // August 2013
Brilliant, idealistic Esme Garland moves to Manhattan armed with a prestigious scholarship at Columbia University. When Mitchell van Leuven— a New Yorker with the bluest of blue New York blood—captures her heart with his stunning good looks and a penchant for all things erotic, life seems truly glorious . . . until a thin blue line signals a wrinkle in Esme’s tidy plan. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he suddenly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all.
Determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore, finding solace in George, the laconic owner addicted to spirulina, and Luke, the taciturn, guitar-playing night manager. The oddball customers are a welcome relief from Columbia’s high-pressure halls, but the store is struggling to survive in this city where nothing seems to last.
When Mitchell recants his criticism, his passion and promises are hard to resist. But if Esme gives him a second chance, will she, like her beloved bookstore, lose more than she can handle? A sharply observed and evocative tale of learning to face reality without giving up on your dreams, The Bookstore is sheer enchantment from start to finish.
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler was one of those books that I didn't fall in love with from the get-go, but did enjoy once I plugged along. What I did love from the get-go was Esme. Meyler created a dynamic and intriguing character quite quickly. I was impressed with the depth I found within Esme (and equally impressed with the lack thereof in Mitchell). Once The Owl was introduced as Esme's refuge, I was instantly hooked. That was when the story took off for me.
Meyler created quite the cast of characters within The Owl. She created a bookstore that I would love to visit- I could picture myself as a regular there. Meyler also did something that I haven't experienced before in a novel: she gave vibrancy and life to people that are often overlooked- both in writing and in real life. The homeless men of NYC are often depicted as scary - Meyler pulled back the cover and introduced beautiful humans instead of the typical fear tactic that is so prevalent in books featuring the City. I appauld her for that!
I also liked the story overall, once I got through the very beginning. I think that it was charming and endearing. The story was a great coming of age tale, and one of those books that I think all early to mid twenty-somethings should read. This is a book that I wish I had read just a few years earlier- if only it had been written then! I do feel some of it was predictable, as far as "chick lit" goes, however the characters and the bookstore more than made up for it. If you're looking for a classic New York City twenty-something coming of age chick-lit, this is the one for you!
About the author:
Deborah Meyler was born in Manchester, read English at Oxford University, and completed a Master of Philosophy thesis on American fiction at St. Andrews University. She eventually moved to New York, where she worked in a bookshop for six years, sold paintings, and had three children. She now lives in Cambridge and is working on her next novel.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow
FTC: I received an egalley of The Bookstore from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review
Book and author information provided by publisher