The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

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 read.    

This has been a difficult review to write. I started by really enjoying this story and became a bit bored in the middle. Esme comes from a small English town to study art history in New York and falls in love with Mitchell who comes from a rich and influential family. Mitchell seemed okay to me at first but when he hears that Esme is pregnant he completely changes and dumps her in not a very nice manner. He continues changing his feelings during the book and Esme continues to fall for him. He obviously has some kind of personality disorder and although his ex girlfriend tries to tell Esme about this we are never really given any explanation about why he is like that. He goes from good guy to an absolute heel, I could use a few other words for him but I'm too much of a lady.
 I was frustrated by that and also by how gullible Esme was and did want to shake her at times.

I loved the bookstore that she frequented and eventually works in. The owners are unusual throwbacks from the hippy era, my feelings changed towards them during the book from not really being sure if they were genuine to liking them immensely. I enjoyed the various other characters surrounding Esme. There are few homeless people who help out from time to time in the store and a sad story attached to one of them.
The bookstore was described well and I could almost smell the books and wanted to sit inside and curl up with one. The sights and smells of New York are also very vivid.

I felt too many references were made to the art history and classic books. Not having a great deal of knowledge of either one I felt a bit left out, like the one at a party who doesn't get the joke but if you are well versed in the classics then you'll love this book.
I did enjoy The Bookstore maybe I'm just not clever enough to get the significance of the classical
At £1:99 for a kindle copy it's worth a read.


  1. The bookstore itself sounds lovely and maybe worth a story in itself, as from what both the blurb says and your review, the Mitchell Esme story doesn't really sound up to much. I used to love that TV show Black Books (I think) and the way you write about this, it sounds similar. I think I would also be bothered by too many classical references. For this type of book, it sounds as if they were a bit out of place. I enjoyed your review very much, though!


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