The Bookstore

The Bookstore

3.08 (5,618 ratings by Goodreads)
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Love doesn't always go by the book
Ardent and Idealistic, Esme Garland has arrived in Manhattan with a scholarship to study art history at Columbia University. When she falls in love with New York blue-blood Mitchell van Leuven, with his penchant for all things erotic, life seems to be clear sailing, until a thin blue line signals stormy times ahead. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he abruptly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all.

Stubbornly determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore to make ends meet. The Owl is a shabby all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters, such as handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke and George, the owner, who lives on spirulina shakes and idealism. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme-but will it be enough to sustain her when Mitchell, glittering with charm and danger, comes back on the scene?

The Bookstore is a celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them. The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 30mm | 526g
  • Bloomsbury Reader
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1448213762
  • 9781448213764
  • 504,822

Review quote

A deeply satisfying novel you will keep close to your heart, written in a style by turns witty and poetic. * Booklist Starred Review * This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical, and bursting with heart, an unabashed love letter to books, to Manhattan, and to human goodness. You will race home to read it, and when you finish you will be smiling, wondering what happened next...and quietly formulating your next excuse for a trip to New York City. * Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters * The Bookstore is not just promising, it is accomplished, fully formed and as touching as it is hilarious. Deborah Meyler has that precious gift of making knowledge lyrical -- Clive James Sometimes a book is perfect company, and The Bookstore is that and more, a deeply charming, beautifully written novel, both funny and moving; a love song to a city and to books with some side smooches for painting. * Leslie Daniels, author of Cleaning Nabokov's House * I loved this funny, elegant novel. If you like books, bookshops and stories which bring together the head and heart, this one's for you. * Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously * I read The Bookstore with great enjoyment: so witty and so sad, and so life-enhancing. I loved the perspective of America through the eyes of a Brit. * Jill Paton Walsh * This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical, and bursting with heart, an unabashed love letter to books, to Manhattan, and to human goodness. You will race home to read it, and when you finish you will be smiling, wondering what happened next . . . and quietly formulating your next excuse for a trip to New York City. * Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters *
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About Deborah Meyler

Deborah Meyler was born in Manchester, went to Oxford, did a master's thesis on Edith Wharton at St Andrews, was sponsored by The Guardian for a journalism diploma, and then, to the detriment of her career but not to her happiness, went to live in New York for a few years. She now lives in Cambridge with her partner and daughters.
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Rating details

5,618 ratings
3.08 out of 5 stars
5 11% (631)
4 24% (1,336)
3 37% (2,060)
2 19% (1,086)
1 9% (505)

Our customer reviews

(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Gallery Books and Edelweiss.) 20-something Esme from England is living in a studio apartment in New York while she does her PhD in Art History at Columbia University when she finds out that she is pregnant. Callously dumped by her boyfriend because the sex wasn't good, Esme decides to not even both telling him about the baby, but unfortunately he finds out anyway and tries to talk her into an abortion, which Esme doesn't want. How far will boyfriend Mitchell go to try and get his way? Can Esme sway him into keeping the baby and being a real family? And is a job at a small bookstore just what she needs? I don't even know where to start with this book, it was just bizarre. The Charaters: Esme was such a sucker it was ridiculous. How many times can a man be a total eejit and you still love him and want him? How many times do you keep going back for more? Mitchell was an absolute turd. If it wasn't bad enough that he dumped Esme because the sex was bad, he then kept trying to talk her into an abortion, and then got his father to try to bribe her into an abortion. Never mind that he then tried to talk her into a threesome, in fact had already set it up when she was 6 months pregnant and had never wanted a threesome in the first place. The people who came into the bookshop were also pretty certifiable. It was like you had to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic to even make it in the door. This was including, but not limited to the weird woman who threatened to complain to the town hall because they had a stuffed owl in the shop (called 'The Owl'), and she was 'breathing in dead owl dust'. The storyline: I'm not going to even start on this, instead I'll just share with you my status updates on Goodreads, which kind of speak for themselves: 7% - she propositions her boyfriend and he tells her he's busy? Time to get a new boyfriend. 8% - she masturbates with a toothbrush? not sure I needed to know that. 10% - she doesn't want sex so he says she can give him a ******** instead? 14% - what an arse wipe. 19% - because everyone wants to hire someone who doesn't have a work visa and is pregnant. 26% - a homeless guy tells her to go to a deli 5 blocks away and that she should eat in, and she doesn't suspect that leaving the bookshop with him might be a bad idea? That he might just rob the place? 37% - So now her "friends" are telling her that she must have gotten pregnant on purpose because there's no such thing as an accident? Nice friends you've got there love. 42% - This bloke is just unbelievable. After trying to trick her into getting an abortion and pressuring her repeatedly, he now pops the question in a crowded restaurant? Please don't tell me that she says yes! 43% - She said yes. Has she learned nothing? 43% - And now he's moaning about the fact that she wants a sip of wine. It might hurt the baby - the baby that he wanted aborted, and still doesn't really want. 46% - What the hell is wrong with running a cupcake business? 54% - He thinks she should be playing beach volleyball whilst pregnant? 64% - Now his father is trying to bribe her into getting an abortion! 65% - "Such a pretty name, where did you get it?" Don't most people get named by their parents at birth? She didn't exactly buy it at Wal-Mart! 73% - She has an awful lot of caffeine for a pregnant woman. 84% - She's six months pregnant and he's trying to talk her into a threesome?! 85% - I think he just told her that loving her makes him contemplate suicide! What a charming man. 88% - Now he's breaking up with her because the relationship is hollow? It's hollow because he is hollow! She's better off without him. What an ass wipe. 88% - "I don't even particularly like you." Well he liked her enough to get her pregnant!" 89% - And she's still trying to talk him in to marrying her. What is wrong with her? 95% - Well at least she's breastfeeding. I can honestly say that this book was just strange. I just didn't get it at all. Mitchell deserved to be strung up, and Esme needed her head testing for continuing to chase him and go along with his plans. I don't think I'd recommend this to anybody, it wasn't even funny, and this 'family' that she's supposed to have made at the bookstore was just a bunch of nutters who all hung around the same place, and didn't mind too much when a homeless man stole from them. I mean seriously? If you want to read some women's fiction, I'd suggest Jodi Picoult or Jane Green, and suggest you steer well clear of this. Oh, and if you're wondering, the baby was a girl, let's hope she's got more sense than her mother. Overall; a strange women's fiction story, that wasn't even funny. 5 out of more
by Sarah Elizabeth
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