THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER
By Jenny Colgan
William Morrow Paperbacks
September 20, 2016
ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99
E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99
Now that I am writing fiction set in a small town myself, I am on the look out for other authors who use similar settings. Some are in America like mine. Others are in Great Britain.
Having read a previous book by Jenny Colgan, I was eager to read The Bookshop on the Corner. I was every bit as delighted with this one. I feel as if I know her and as somewhat of an Anglophile, I have such fun reading British slang. Her descriptions of scenery and life in Scotland make you want to arrange a vacation.
Nina, the heroine of this book, would rather read than participate in real life. When she loses her job as a librarian, she finds the courage to take a leap of faith and turn her knowledge and love of books into a business. She buys a rickety van and turns it into a mobile bookstore.
Along the way, she also ventures into romantic territory.
All of her city friends end up envying her new lifestyle. Me too.
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Excerpt from THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:
The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”
That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.
A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.
She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.
Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.
(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.
Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)
THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER – https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062467263/the-bookshop-on-the-corner
About the Author
Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.
Connect with Jenny Colgan
Website – http://www.jennycolgan.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jennycolgan
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks