The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
I picked up this book because I love independent bookstores and I’ve always wanted to work in one. There was a lot of namedropping in this book and it is a good thing that my undergraduate degree is in art history or I probably would’ve have got most of the art references she makes in the book (though truth be told, I did still have to look some of the names up as I’m not as well-versed in modern art as pre-20th century). It is also a good thing that I’ve spent some time in Great Britain, or a lot of the other references in the book I would’ve been able to get either.
The main character is a 23 year old English woman named Esme, who has come to New York City, specifically Columbia University, to complete a PhD in art history on the American artist Wayne Thiebaud. She is dating this rich guy named Mitchell and they seem to be getting along just fine, until he suddenly dumps her. Then she finds out she is pregnant with his child, and he wants her to terminate it. She tried to, but just couldn’t do it in the end. They end up getting back together and are very soon after engaged. The whole time she is with this guy all I can think is “Why on earth is she with this guy? I know he is the father of her baby, but he is a complete douchebag. Surely she must see that he is bad news.”
Esme finds this little used book store called The Owl when she first arrived in the city and after she becomes pregnant, she ends up working there. She gets to know all the quirky characters that make up the regular clientele and workers. In the end, Esme finds their friendship and support more valuable than her fiancée’s. The ending of the book was awkward and sudden. 3 stars.
Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.