Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Bookseller's Secret - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Bookseller's Secret by Michelle Gable

Rating:  Not For Me
Source:  Publisher

Description: In 1942, London, Nancy Mitford is worried about more than air raids and German spies. Still recovering from a devastating loss, the once sparkling Bright Young Thing is estranged from her husband, her allowance has been cut, and she’s given up her writing career. On top of this, her five beautiful but infamous sisters continue making headlines with their controversial politics.

Eager for distraction and desperate for income, Nancy jumps at the chance to manage the Heywood Hill bookshop while the owner is away at war. Between the shop’s brisk business and the literary salons she hosts for her eccentric friends, Nancy’s life seems on the upswing. But when a mysterious French officer insists that she has a story to tell, Nancy must decide if picking up the pen again and revealing all is worth the price she might be forced to pay.

Eighty years later, Heywood Hill is abuzz with the hunt for a lost wartime manuscript written by Nancy Mitford. For one woman desperately in need of a change, the search will reveal not only a new side to Nancy, but an even more surprising link between the past and present…

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  There was no way I could resist the plot and the cover of this one.  Plus, this author has another book that has been on my TBR for quite sometime.

My Impression: I really wanted to love this one.  I really loved another book about a London bookstore during World War II that I read earlier this year and I was excited about the present day POV and the literary search into the past.  Unfortunately, I never connected with any of the characters or became invested in the past or present storyline.

Other then basic name recognition I'm not super familiar with the details of the Mitford sisters.  After reading this I am a bit more curious about them and will probably do a bit of looking into them.  While rather horrible I am curious about the ins and outs of their lives.  However, that interest does not extend to wanting to read any of Nancy Mitford's works or finding any connection to her in this book.  As well, while I did like some of the side characters in the present day storyline I disliked the main character, writer Katie, so much that it kind of soured my feelings about that part of the book.  Katie comes off as whiney and aggressive to the point I could just not care about her.  

The author does a wonderful job of setting the scene and really makes the locations come alive but unfortunately in the book that skill does not translate to the characters.  When all is said and done, when it came to this book I found I just didn't care what happened to the characters or how the story evolved.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I have another book by this author that I still plan on reading so I will cross my fingers and hope that the other book is a better fit.  

Would I Recommend this Book? Unless you are a huge fan of Nancy Mitford or this author I would say give it a pass.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. It does sound promising but I had already passed on this book because I didn't like one of the authors others books. If it wasn't for you then its certainly not for me either. I did have this big NF book on the Mitfords but in the end I never read it and sent it on to a book fair.

  2. Sorry it wasn't a good read for you. I get impatient with historical novels at times.

  3. I never read anything by this author but I was interested in it because of the cover and the synopsis. I'm sorry it wasn't a good read for you.

  4. I was curious about this book, the premise seems promising. Glad to hear your thoughts!

  5. Sorry it wasn't a winner for you. I appreciate your thoughts.