Top critical review
A difficult read with redeeming qualities
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
I liked this book but struggled to read it. It started off very slowly, but at times would begin to gain momentum. Unfortunately, as soon as it started picking up, it would drop again just as quickly. The uneven pacing led to my struggle. Despite this fact, I did enjoy learning about the lives of each character and seeing how they would grow, what life choices they would make.
The story was touching as these three women, Madeline, Janet, and Claire walked through their own struggles within their lives. Each one had to figure out who they once were, who they were now, and who they wanted to be.
I would have to say that Janet was my least favorite character at the beginning of the book, but she was the one I seemed to be focusing on the most as I read. Watching her grow, watching her change into the godly woman she was becoming was a real treat.
Each woman had made great strides by the end of the book, no one remained stagnant, but Janet and Madeline seemed to improve the most, and I would say that Madeline had made the biggest sacrifices for a bookshop she originally wanted nothing to do with.
Reay’s book is a relaxing read filled with love, loss, self-awareness, and a bit of humor that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys books (many references were made to a plethora of books as it was a bookshop) and likes to see characters grow.