When I first requested this book I was really excited by the title – The Bookstore – I love books, with a passion, so what was there not to love about this book?
The story is pretty good in places; very well written and very descriptive, making it a joy for the reader. But the main character, Esme Garland, really did disappoint me. I am so used to strong characters who know exactly what they want and set about how to get it. Sadly, Esme did not meet that criteria for me. I found her to be a pushover, certainly when it came to Mitchell, her on/off boyfriend. I know there really are women who are this wishy-washy when it comes to men but normally I do not read about them.
I found myself wanting shake Esme silly throughout the book, it is very obvious Mitchell does not really love her and sees her as nothing more than a distraction. I guess the book is showing us that we can all lose our heads and self respect when we fall for someone.
The plot was very disappointing, it is a gentle tale in parts, quite cringeworthy in others and some parts are a little pointless. Throughout the story I felt certain Esme would eventually hook up with Luke, who clearly has a thing for her, but the story ends before that point is ever reached.
There are some wonderful characters in this book – I particularly loved George, the book shop owner. The parts of the story that are spent at the bookstore are the best, they make up for the weaker and more cringeworthy parts where Esme is making a fool of herself over Mitchell.
I did enjoy the section of the book that dealt with Esme wrestling with her conscience when she discovers she is pregnant. Some very good and thought provoking points are explored. There are also some witty moments during and after the birth, which many a mother will easily relate to.
I have to say that the story line is not particularly strong, but I imagine lovers of the chic-lit genre will approve of this book.
4 stars ****