About the Book
Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop
Author: Katherine Reay
Genre: Women’s fiction, romance
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Amid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.
One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.
While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls.
When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best combined efforts may be too little, too late.
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It’s often funny how books come to us at certain times. I requested a copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop several months ago. It came up on my list this week, so I plucked it off the shelf and dove in. Over the next two days, Madeline, Janet, and Claire became my friends. Each one brought something new to the table. Their flaws were big, built over years, and not something to be undone over dinner and a movie.
The switching viewpoints kept me on my toes. Once or twice, I forgot who’s view I was in and had to flip back to see which character’s head I had landed in. After a few chapters, I had them down pat, but it can be confusing at first if you’re not used to switching between three characters, two in first-person and the third in third-person.
All three women were interesting, but I felt the most growth from Janet. Her initial reactions, her anger and redirection, were part of what ostracized her from her family. She has a lot to overcome. That’s not to say Madeline and Claire’s troubles are less, only that they’re different.
The Christian aspect is very mild, except for Janet. Otherwise, I felt I had to look too hard to find the Christian aspect. Since The Printed Letter Bookshop is women’s fiction, it meets the criteria.
Based on what I mentioned earlier, Janet was my favorite character. She took the longest to warm up to, but I recognized her actions for what they were and her changes by the end of the book were heartfelt.
You can’t beat a bookshop, three women desperate for change, and an all-powerful God working things to their good.
I requested a copy from Celebrate Lit and was provided a paperback copy from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and isa wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at www.katherinereay.com; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.
More from Katherine
Don’t you love bookshops?
Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.
Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.
And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.
There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time with in the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.
The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!