Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.
Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa.
The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene?
Kaley - 1.5 Star
I was really looking forward to reading The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler. I thought, “With a title like that how could it go wrong?” Turns out it could go pretty wrong. There were several times when I wanted to throw the book aside and never finish it but I had hope that it would eventually get better. Alas, I should have stopped when I first wanted to as I never ended up enjoying the book.
I’m a huge character girl and when I don’t like a character or feel connected to her or her story, I’m not interested. That’s what happened with The Bookstore. I found Esme slightly annoying and way too naïve. I also have a problem with characters who are surprised they end up pregnant after just one night of unprotected sex. Must we send everyone back to health class? She was too trusting of Mitchell (who I hated) and it was hard for me to try and understand why she kept going back to him even though he clearly wasn’t good for, or to, her.
I also found that there were too many secondary characters. There’s an interesting crew that comes along with the bookstore but I had a hard time keeping some of them straight. In fact, something happens to one of them and I honestly couldn’t remember which one he was. I suppose these types of characters would be present in a real bookstore but it didn’t add much of anything to the overall story.
I really wish I had liked The Bookstore. Deborah Meyler presented an interesting synopsis but the story itself doesn’t have a whole lot going on. In fact, it ends abruptly after a lot of nothing happens. Overall, this one was not a winner for me.
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